Tag Archives: marketing

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
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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.

7 Simple Steps to Write a Book

One of the best ways to prove you are an authority is to write a book. You’re immediatelyWrite a Book for Business Success seen as a go-to person in your industry. Your name or your company’s name will gain exposure. You will gain more visibility for your brand among your target customers. Writing a book differentiates you from competitors and adds an additional income stream.  It also allows you to create a legacy for your family and, of course, to get more clients.

A book can become your business card.  You can leave it behind with prospects who will never throw it away unlike other forms of marketing collateral.  Whether you sell products or services this rings true. If you write a book, you will always be prepared to communicate your value.  You can reuse the material over and over again too. Turn a book into a blog post, article, speech or even another product format like a video (DVD), audio (podcast or CD), training program, etc.  The possibilities are endless.

Writing a book has so many amazing benefits and, yet, too many small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs fail to utilize this powerful marketing medium.  You don’t write because you think it’s too hard, takes too much time, or that you’re not good enough.  Writing doesn’t have to be difficult and you don’t have to be a celebrity to achieve success.  The hardest part is just to start.

You can write a book that helps support your business mission and vision using a very simple process.  It is the same process that I used to put together my book, Why YOU SUCK at Network Marketing.  It is the same process that I am using for my next title, LIE Your Way to the Top as well.  You truly can follow this process and write a book in as little as thirty days.

7 Simple Steps to Write a Book

  1. Identify a big problem.  Think about your target customer.  Ideally, the problem you identify should be something that your products or services will solve.  The big problem you define may become the title of your book.  It should speak to either decreasing a pain or increasing a pleasure strongly desired by your dream customer.  For example, if your target market is “young adults” and you sell motor oil, a problem you identify may be “how to maintain a vehicle on a shoestring budget.”  Budgeting is definitely a big problem for many young adults. Not only is this a problem but your solution, motor oil, absolutely helps provide a relevant solution as proper vehicle maintenance does save time and money in the long run.
  2. Aggravate the problem in the mind of your reader.  A good transformational book takes the reader on a journey.  It uses what I refer to as the “dip theory” in which you take the reader through a series of emotional highs and lows to get them to buy into your theories, concepts, and solutions.  You are shifting the way they think by pulling at their mind and heart.  This step requires you to escalate the problem by showing your readers that the problem is even worse than they originally thought.  Focus on how the big problem is affecting the reader’s life.  What is it costing them in terms of time, money, and resources?  How much more could they stand to lose if they don’t change things now?
  3. Tell a relevant story that highlights how you dealt with the problem.  Personal stories are great at demonstrating value.  The story you tell should reflect on a real life experience that either you, or someone close to you (even one of your customers), has dealt with then overcame the problem at hand.  The story should explain, in good detail, what happened, why you think it happened, how you felt and were affected by it happening, and the eventual outcome of the ordeal.  Use descriptive language to guide your reader on the journey with you.
  4. Identify the solution, or specific steps, you took to solve the problem.  The next step requires you to fully explain how you overcame the problem.  This is the wrap-up of the story you began in Step 3 above.  Provide your reader with a step-by-step guide to solve the problem.   Your product or service should be part of this solution.
  5. Explain your transformation, or how life changed, as a result of applying the solution.  What was different in your life?  What were you able to do that you couldn’t do before?  Did you save time, money, resources?  Did you achieve an increase in pleasure or a decrease in pain?   Again, be as descriptive as possible.
  6. Demonstrate the value, or benefits, your readers will achieve by applying the solution too. This is all about good feelings.  You want to show you readers that they too can achieve these outcomes.  Just as you aggravated the problem in Step 2, you now want to move your reader into the opposite direction by escalating the emotional high of what would happen if the problem was solved.  You can ask the reader to “imagine” a world where the problem was solved and take them on a journey showing how they would be different.
  7. End with a strong call-to-action by providing your readers with a next-step action plan.  No transformational book would be complete without giving your readers something to do.  When you write a book to support your business, the call-to-action should require the reader to connect with you somehow.  This could be by joining a mailing list, contacting you for a free consultation, or buying a product or program.  It can also help to give the reader at least one helpful to-do that is immediately implementable without your assistance.  This could look like a worksheet, a template, or even asking them to brainstorm a few goals around the problem area.  The options are limitless.

Writing a book doesn’t have to be hard at all. You can follow this process and have your book done within as little as 30 days! The sooner you write a book, the sooner your business can reap the benefits.  Want to write a book to catapult your business success? Apply for a FREE Business Breakthrough Strategy Session to get going today!  If you happen to be in the Chicagoland area, consider joining me for my next Get Your Book Done Workshop.

Have you written a book?  What process did you use?  I would love to hear your thoughts so please comment below.  If you found value in this post, please consider sharing with your networks.

How to Choose the Right Promotional Products for Your Business

As a small business owner or aspiring entrepreneur, you have probably figured out that industry tradeshows and other vendor opportunities are excellent ways to get in front of a large number of your target customers pretty quickly.  Just within the past two months, our small business consulting, executive coaching, and corporate training firm has collected well over 500 new contacts from attending only three such exhibitions.  These types of events allow small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs to expand their brand visibility, reach new customer prospects, establish themselves as industry experts, and attract strategic partners via the various networking opportunities.

Successful participation in a tradeshow or taking advantage of any other vending opportunity requires the small business owner or aspiring entrepreneur to leave a great lasting impression on the event attendees.  One of the most powerful marketing methods is through giving away free, customized, promotional products for your business.  The most popular types of giveaways include ink pens, pencils, cases of gum or mints, hand sanitizers, tee-shirts, and key chains but there are many more items to choose from.  A promotional product can literally be any item that will fit your brand’s name, logo, or contact information.  With so many items to choose from, how do you choose the right promotional products for your business?

5 elements to consider when choosing the right promotional products for your business:

  1. Usefulness is key – Give away promotional products for your business that people want and use daily.  Everyone needs to write and sign something at some point. For this reason, pens are one of the most popular promotional products for your business.
  2. Target effectively – Give away promotional products to future customers not just any one.  Buying and maintaining a consistent supply of promotional products for your business can get pricey.  While you want to get your brand name out there, you also want to be selective in making sure that you specifically get your promotional products into the hands of your prospective customers. Leave behind your promotions in places where your ideal customer frequents.
  3. High Visibility is best – Pick products so that people see your brand.  What good is a marketing message that isn’t regularly seen?  The promotional products for your business should be left in high trafficked area or be the type of promotion that is seen multiple times throughout the day.
  4. Pick Quality – Promotional products for your business are representing your brand.  Within reason and within budget, you should pick the highest quality promotions available to you.  Remember poor quality products reflect poorly on your brand.
  5. Natural Fit with your business – Your promotional products should make sense to your prospective customers.  There should be a natural correlation in your prospective customer’s mind from the promotional product to your brand.
    1. Locksmiths, Realtors, Auto Mechanics – Hand your customers their keys on your customized promotional key ring. your information will be on hand for them to come back. We know of an auto mechanic who replaces the license plate holder with his promotional one after servicing every vehicle.
    2. Delivery Men, Notaries, Loan officers – You need your customers to sign a contract. Hand them your pen to sign documents with and tell them to keep it.
    3. Restaurants, caterers, distilleries – Give your customers cups or drink koozies are the perfect marketing medium for your brand.