Category Archives: Marketing

What is a Sales Funnel?

A sales funnel, although an imperfect model, is a visual depiction of the actual process your business uses to convert prospects into paying customers. It is the steps you take to move your target market from the point that they learn your business exists to the point that they become raving fans of your brand. Unlike a real funnel, your customers never actually fall out the bottom but instead filter back through the top over and over again, hopefully bringing along a few friends in the process.

Analyzing and understanding your sales funnel is a critical step toward maximizing your profit potential. The more you know about how your particular customers behave and make buying decisions, the easier and faster it will be to move them through your sales process; thereby, increasing sales revenue and bottom-line profitability.

The sales funnel has four stages: awareness, demonstration, conversion, and recruitment. Let’s take a closer look at each stage and what you can do to increase profitability as your target market gets pushed through each one of them.

The Sales Funnel

  1. Awareness. In this stage, prospective customers first learn that your brand exists. AwarenessThey become aware of you, your company, and the products and services you offer. This stage is all about getting on your customer’s radar so you can begin a conversation. In order for the Awareness stage to be effective, you have to know exactly who your target market is and then go where they go and be where they be. Once your target market has been identified, narrowed, and found, you then must use various tools to attract them. These tools are often referred to as lead generators and may include one or more of the following customer attraction strategies:
    • networking and other live events
    • exhibitor booths (trade shows, expos, etc.)
    • direct mail (snail mail)
    • email marketing
    • commercial ads (tv, radio, social media)
    • flyers
    • billboards
    • social media posts
    • hashtags
    • blogs
  2. Demonstration. In this stage, prospects start to realize your value. This stage is all Demonstrationabout establishing trust and rapport. People buy from those whom they know, like, and trust. You will need to show potential customers the benefits of your product or service offerings. What makes you the expert in your field? What sets your brand apart from others providing similar products and services? Tools you will use in the Demonstration stage may overlap with those you may use in the Awareness stage as prospects can often be moved through both of these stages at the same time.
    • infomercials
    • training events
    • information sessions
    • product demonstrations
    • blogs
    • books
    • articles
    • social media posts
  3. Conversion. In this stage, prospects have seen the value of your products and Conversionservices and are ready to make a buying decision. Your job here is to simply ask for the sale. This is the most important aspect of customer acquisition; however, too many entrepreneurs fail to do this to close the actual sale. Here you will utilize tools that shift prospects into paying customers.
    • call-to-actions
    • buy now buttons
    • free trials
    • free quotes
    • free consultations
    • introductory sessions
    • sales calls
  4. Recruitment. In this stage, existing customers are groomed, cultivated,  and Recruitmentactivated to become a voluntary marketing team for your business. This stage requires high levels of engagement to continue delivering value to paying customers time and time again. The idea here is that customers will be so satisfied with your business that they not only repeat purchases for themselves but also share their excitement with others who also become paying customers. Tools implemented in this stage help transition existing customers into evangelists who recruit new prospects into your sales funnel for you.
    • brand ambassadors
    • loyalty programs
    • incentive clubs
    • coupons
    • discounts
    • referral programs
    • customer appreciation sales
    • customer spotlights
    • birthday, holiday, and anniversary mailers

An effective sales funnel is vital to the financial health of your business. Your sales funnel should move prospects through the most efficient and fastest route to becoming a paying customer and raving fan of your brand. Take a moment to build, review, and/or revise this important business process now. Download our SALES FUNNEL WORKSHEET to fix your funnel today.

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Should I List My Prices on My Website?

We get this question a lot! There really is no right or wrong answer here. Whether or not to list your prices on your website simply depends on your personal choice and marketing strategy.

There are both pros and cons to publicly publishing your prices. What you choose has a lot to do with the relationships you have built or are seeking to build with your dream customers. When making this decision, it is important to consider who your customers are and what are their expectations. Not every target market will respond in the same way to your choice to list or not to list your prices. Here are a few reasons why or why not to list your prices on your website.

Reasons to List Your Prices on Your Website

  • Truth & Transparency. Many business owners want to make sure that there are nopricelist secrets between themselves and their customers. These companies place high value on honesty and disclose as much information as possible to prevent their customers from feeling like the wool has been pulled over their eyes with hidden costs.
  • Positioning. If your competitive advantage is based on pricing (low-cost leader, high-end provider, etc.), publishing your prices on your website will help solidify your place within the market.
  • Increase conversions. Prospective customers are more likely to buy on the spot or submit inquiries when they already know they can afford your prices.
  • Filter out lookie-loos. Listing your prices is a great way to avoid site visitors who are just window-shopping with no intent on buying. It also allows you a way to target only those who can actually afford your offerings.

Reasons NOT to List Your Prices on Your Website

  • Build value. When you market products or services that require education and training as part of your customer acquisition strategy, it is best to not list your prices on your website. Many info products, coaching and consulting services, and live events follow this train of thought. Businesses in these fields educate consumers on the value of their offerings to justify their prices.
  • Specialized product. If your products or services include a high level of customization, it may be difficult to list prices as your prices will fluctuate from one customer to the next.
  • Strict competition. In highly competitive industries, you could literally find yourself caught up in the middle of a pricing war. By not disclosing your prices, you can avoid the possibility of someone using your prices to undercut your business.
  • Flexibility. It’s easier to increase prices over time when there is no published record of what prices were before. Those who do publish their prices usually do so with a disclaimer that prices are subject to change; however, it can be a headache to explain to existing customers why they are no longer receiving last year’s prices.
  • Test pricing. Many startups and aspiring entrepreneurs have no idea what to charge. You may be introducing an entirely new product or service into the marketplace, be targeting a new or unknown customer profile, or simply may not know your worth just yet.

Do you publish your prices on your website? Why or why not? Tell us in the comments below and if you have found value in this post, please do share it with your networks. Get answers to more questions like this by joining us in our free online training and accountability group.

We Forgot How to Have Conversations

As a business owner and avid social media user, I have noticed a really disturbing trend – people no longer have conversations. Everyone seems to be rushing through their daily interactions with very little value exchange. If a message can’t be boiled down to 140 characters or less, it’s abandoned altogether. What happened to talking to one another?

Facebook posts, Tweets, Instagrams, and Snapchats have replaced authentic customer connections. This is especially troublesome for small business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs, and marketing professionals who need to find creative ways to engage their target market.

People buy from those whom they know, like, and trust. It used to be that one could walk into their local mom-and-pop shop and be approached by a caring person who wanted nothing more than to meet their needs. The warmth and sincere desire to help emanating from the store owners is what made you want to get to know, like, and eventually trust them with your business. There was time and attention devoted toward establishing rapport, building a real relationship. In those simpler times, this was how customer loyalty was created.

These days, very few people seem to understand the value of relationship building. It’s more than a monthly scheduled email, a reply to a social media post, or an automated robocall reminder of upcoming events. We need to get back to showing true interest in people. What do they like or dislike? What are their goals and dreams? What are their challenges and obstacles? To actually learn these things one must engage others in conversation then actively listen.

Take a moment to think about how you are interacting with people. Are you delivering value? Are you building authentic relationships? Or are you hurdling through life without taking the time to enjoy those with whom you are connected?

I challenge you to actively seek out opportunities to create new and build on existing relationships. Turn those 5000 friends on Facebook into 5000 valuable connections. You will find that your relationships will be much more fruitful and fulfilling. All it takes is a willingness to care.

If you are a business owner, aspiring entrepreneur, or even a marketing professional, I want to invite you to further explore this topic in a 100% free webinar, 3 Major Mistakes Marketers Make that Ruin Revenue. In this 1-hour training, I will uncover the biggest challenges standing in the way of marketing success and how you can avoid them. Hint – the biggest mistake is not focusing on people!

Let’s connect and build together.

~Coach Niquenya

#market4profit

3 Major Mistakes Marketers Make that Ruin Revenue
100% FREE Webinar Training

How to Succeed in Multi-Level Marketing

Many of my clients get their first taste of business ownership in multi-level marketing companies. Unfortunately, this type of business model often gets a bad rap because so many aspiring entrepreneurs have absolutely no idea how to succeed in multi-level marketing and fail miserably. You can absolutely succeed in a multi-level marketing (MLM) business and do so pretty quickly as long as you have the 4 P’s of Profit in place, which I often discuss in my training programs for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Succeed in Multi-Level Marketing with the 4 P’s of Profit

  1. Passion – This is the number one reason why multi-level marketers fail. You sign upsucceed in multi-level marketing because you see the glitz and the glam of the promised wealthy lifestyle rather than actually being passionate about the products and services you offer. You have to have passion to start any business, multi-level marketing included. The bottom line is entrepreneurship is difficult and especially in the very beginning while you’re building your business. There is no magic bullet that will make you rich quick but there are proven steps that you can implement to help you succeed in multi-level marketing faster. Make sure that whatever venture you are embarking on is driven by your passion for the products and services you offer or no amount of education nor processes will help you succeed.
  2. Purpose – You have to have a why, whether this is a personal mission or a business mission. Your passion is the what you do but your purpose is the why you do it. What do you hope to accomplish as a result of your hard work. What is the end game? What is your vision? What impact do you want to have? Starting a business without a clear purpose in mind, even an already set-up business such as multi-level marketing, will leave you drowning in mindless activity. It’s like getting in a car without knowing where you want to go. If you don’t have a clue where you’re going, how can you plan for gas, driving time, budget needed, rest stops, etc.? You will succeed in multi-level marketing if you have a purpose to focus you.
  3. Partners – These are the people who will support you and your business. This is everyone including your upline, downline, immediate family and best friends (who by the way are not always your customers), business consultants and coaches like myself, accountants, attorneys and other service providers. This also includes your customers who not only buy your products and services but also clue you in on their needs and interests so you can serve them better. You cannot succeed in multi-level marketing without a solid team around you.
  4. Processes – These are the tried and true, proven best practices, automated tools and duplicable activities that you strategically and intentionally implement to build and sustain your business. The more efficient your operations, the easier and faster you will earn money. I also sometimes refer to this P as “Productivity” because with adequate processes in place, you will be more productive.

Incorporate the 4 P’s of Profit into your marketing plan and you absolutely will be successful in multi-level marketing. For more information about how to succeed in multi-level marketing businesses, check out my book, Why YOU SUCK at Network Marketing. You will find out how to avoid many of the pitfalls most multi-level marketers make that keep them broke and broken.

Have you found success in network marketing? If so, tell us how you did it in the comments below and, if you found this post helpful, please share it to your networks.

3 Webinar Platforms for Entrepreneurs

Small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs have it pretty easy in today’s global economy. The internet allows a level playing for entrepreneurs to easily connect to potential customers through multiple channels. Webinars provide one of the highest returns on investment for business owners who want to expand your brand. There are many different types of web conferencing software to choose from; however, this post provides a quick overview of three of the best webinar platforms for entrepreneurs.

First, let’s get a basic understanding of what we’re dealing with. Webinars are a type of webinar platforms for entrepreneursclass that is delivered online through web conferencing software. The software allows attendees to participate from anywhere in the world by logging into a specific webinar platform. Users can then hear, see and interact with the webinar host and other webinar participants.

Although there are many webinar platforms to choose from, they are definitely not all created equal. Webinar platforms for entrepreneurs vary by maximum number of attendees allowed, ability to brand or co-brand, ability to save and record sessions and, of course, cost. Bootstrapping business owners on a budget can save money and still take advantage of some of the best available features with these easy-to-use webinar platforms for entrepreneurs.

3 Webinar Platforms for Entrepreneurs

  1. Bigmarker boasts itself as being one of the world’s largest webinar networks. The platforms is fairly simple to use and they have several live and recorded webinar trainings to help you master its robust technology. You can host any type of webinar, class, presentation, live streaming or even a private session that you want. Unlike some platforms, you don’t have to waste space downloading the software to your hard drive and you have the option to monetize your events. There is a free trial and actual pricing is as low as $19 per month (billed annually) for up to 25 participants. Paid subscriptions allow you to record, store, download, and publish webinars on your channel, website, and YouTube
  2. Freeconferencecall has been around for years and is an industry leader in voice conferencing; however, the company has quite recently rolled out its own webinar platform for entrepreneurs. The service allows you to have completely free online meetings, save and record them for later playback, and easily collaborate with audio, screen sharing and video conferencing tools for up to 1,000 participants. One caveat; however, is that the phone conference lines are not always reliable so webinar participants using phone lines for audio may be disappointed. Businesses who want to custom brand their webinars and gain access to powerful analytics can request a quote to upgrade service.
  3. Zoom Conferencing provides a little bit more flexibility on its free program that allows for up to 50 participants and most of the bells and whistles that come with traditional webinar platforms for entrepreneurs. Paid programs offer a higher level of customization and additional methods to join into the webinars; however, much of what most entrepreneurs will want to do can easily be accomplished in the free version.

What webinar platforms for entrepreneurs are you using in your business? Do you have any experience working in any of these web conferencing solutions? Let us know in the comments below and if you found value in this post, please share it with your networks.

Build Your Tribe in 7 Simple Steps

Creating a successful business requires that you first build your tribe. A tribe is a group of Build Your Tribe in 7 Simple Stepslike-minded individuals who come together for a common cause. In terms of business, your tribe is made up of your dream customers – the prospects with whom your vision, message and mission resonates and who are both willing and able to pay your prices.

In our popular JumpStart Virtual Business Boot Camp, we hone in on the importance of using your tribe to trigger an increase in sales. The program walks aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners step-by-step on how to easily build your tribe. This is a brief overview of the steps covered in-depth throughout the training.

How to Build Your Tribe in 7 Simple Steps

  1. Identify your dream customers. Before you can even begin to build a tribe, you first have to decide who they are. Your business success primarily hinges upon this important step. Your dream customers are often a reflection of who you are and what experiences you have come through in life. Determine who you most want to work with. What do they look like? What is important to them? Where can you find them?
  2. Create your Signature Solution. What products or services will you offer your dream customers? What is the best solution to either increase pleasure or decrease the pain associated with a particular need or desire affecting your dream customers? What knowledge, skills and expertise do you possess that can help your dream customers fulfill their needs? Build a value-packed solution to serve your dream customers.
  3. Differentiate yourself from alternatives. What are your dream customers already doing to fulfill their needs? What other products or services are being offered in the marketplace? Determine how you can develop a competitive advantage so that your dream customers will choose you over the other available options.
  4. Build an online community. In this day and age, everybody is online. This means the number one place you will find your dream customers is also online. Create a Facebook group, or even a LinkedIn group, that will serve as a community for your dream customers. This is where you will really build your tribe. Give it a benefits-focused name that easily explains to your dream customer what the group is for and why they should join. Check out the Design Your Dream Biz Training & Accountability group we created for the JumpStart program.
  5. Engage followers with quality content. Use your online community to share relevant resources, blog posts, free eBooks or webinars, tips and advice your dream customers can use to address their needs. Give authentically to position yourself as an expert in your field. You will build your tribe really fast if members of your community get to know, like and trust your opinions.
  6. Promote a powerful call-to-action. Seek always to motivate your community members to deepen their connection with you by instructing them to take specific, strategic actions. Regularly promote your Signature Solution among your tribe to move them quickly through your sales funnel. Use your group to convert prospects into paying customers. Ask for sales!
  7. Focus on growing your group. Continue to invite new prospects into your online community to build your tribe. Create ads and send out requests to your dream customers to also invite other like-minded individuals. The more value you provide to your current members, the more likely they will invite others to join. Offer referral incentives whenever possible.

Once your tribe is in place, everything you do should be promoted within your online community. You can build your tribe in as little as thirty days. The most important thing to remember is to provide consistent, relevant value so you can attract and retain your dream customers.

How did you build your tribe? Did you find this post useful? Please let us know in the comments below and if you found value in this post, please do share it with your networks.

What Kind of Public Speaker Are You?

Public speakers come in all varieties of shapes and sizes. Depending on the audience and goals of a particular event, speakers can serve one or more important purposes. Public speakers may educate, motivate, fuel change and growth, promote awareness, inform or even entertain. Regardless of the purpose of the public speaker, one thing is for certain – the speaker can make or break the event.

Event planners and organizations that host events seek speakers who can not only serve up their goals and objectives but also be highly engaging and interactive subject matter experts. This makes for a lucrative business among the most talented public speakers. If you are an aspiring public speaker, one of the first steps to marketing yourself to meeting organizers and others who seek you out is to determine just what type of speaker you are. Depending on your expertise and skill, you might fall into one or more of the following categories.

Types of Public Speakers

  • Motivational/Inspirational Speakers – These types of public speakers either motivate or encourage individuals and groups to think or do something different. Motivational and inspirational speakers give positive “pep talks” to their audiences to encourage them to overcome obstacles, think bigger and reach beyond their normal way of doing things. Examples of these types of public speakers are Les Brown and Tony Robbins.
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  • Corporate Speakers –  This type of public speaker teaches soft or technical skills to individuals and groups within a business environment. Corporate speakers, or corporate trainers as they’re usually referred, instruct employees to acquire skills that help them do their jobs more effectively. Topics such as team building and conflict resolution are taught by corporate speakers.
  • Marketing Speakers – These public speakers are sales and marketing professionals who are experts at the top of their game. Marketing speakers usually have excelled in their industries by knocking sales quotas out of the park. Sales and marketing speakers often develop duplicable systems and share these systems within their talks. Dale Carnegie is a famous marketing speaker who turned his skill into a major public speaking brand.
  • Futurists and Trend Experts – These types of public speakers watch trends and make predictions of how the market will flow or a particular industry will respond based on their observations. They then put together informative talks to convey their projections to specialized audiences. Some futurists, or futurologists, are scientists who practice philosophizing about possibilities and then assemble research to support their forecasts. Futurists and trend experts have been instrumental in raising awareness of the global warming phenomenon.

So what type of public speaker are you? Let us know in the comments below. Remember, you can fall into one or more categories depending on the audience and purpose of the event. Tailor your style and presentation to meet the needs of the market you serve. Want to further expand your public speaking platform? Check out our Speakers Bureau for an opportunity to market yourself at upcoming events.

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