Do You Know How to Find Your Ideal Clients?

Ideal ClientWhen you first start a business, there are a lot of things that you must first figure out. You need to know who you’’ll serve and what you’’ll do for them, for starters. You have to really have a firm understanding of who your ideal client is.  If you don’t have a firm understanding of who that is and what problem you can solve for them, then everything else won’t be aligned to what your unique offerings are in your business.  Once you figure that out, the next important step is to find how you can market your solution those ideal clients.  If you wait for them to find you, no matter how good your SEO is, you’’ll be waiting forever. You have to go where they are. So, do you know how to figure out where they are? Here are some tips that will help you find out exactly where your ideal clients are.

Become the Expert on Your Ideal Client

Research everything you can about your audience so that you know as much about them as you can. You need to know what keeps them up at night, and what their hopes and dreams are. Plus, you need to know what publications they read, where they read them, and in which groups they participate online – as well as whether you want to work with local people, offline. By doing this research you’’re going to discover what they want and need, and exactly how to put it together.  You have to be the expert on your ideal client.

Conduct a Twitter Search

Use Twitter to research certain keywords to find people talking about your subject matter. Once you find these people, you should be able to locate them on Facebook, Google Plus, and other forums. When you figure that out, you will likely find out exactly where they are hanging out. Once you know, you can then join those groups and message boards to do even more research, and even become a part of those groups and engage with them.

Conduct a Reddit Search

Reddit is a great source of information almost any topic. You can start with posting a question that will attract your audience to you. Now that you know more about them from your Twitter search, you should be able to come up with a question. When people answer your question you can conduct more research on the people answering, to find out where they hang out too. Then you’’ll have even more places to check out.

Study Your Competition

Your competition has likely posted some blogs. Use that information!  Study these blogs; look at the responses to their blog posts, and find out about any groups that the blogger mentions. You can even pitch guest post ideas to the competition. That will give you a bio box which will cause their audience to click through to find you, or at least start seeing you as part of their community.

Collect a List

As you conduct your research, you’’re going to notice certain names that appear everywhere. These are the popular people within your niche. You want to make a list of these people so that you can follow them on each social media account and observe where they go, what they say, and how people respond to them. You want to follow all the movers and shakers within your niche, not because they’’ll hire you, but because the people who follow them may hire you.

Finally, establish your own expertise by publishing a Kindle book. Market the Kindle book by hosting a webinar. Market the webinar on Facebook, targeting the groups that you’’ve  discovered. Before you know it, YOU will be the mover and shaker with your own client waiting list, and it will be people who fit the description of your ideal client.

How to Craft a Clear and Compelling Brand Message

brand messageThe backbone of your marketing message is the branding position you create. While it may seem as if the audience determines the brand message, that’s not true. You define it, create it, and publicize it through very clear and precise actions. Smart brands don’t wait around for the audience to determine their place; they tell their stories from day one and guide the discussion.

Tips for Creating a Clear Brand Message

Know Your Target Audience – Nothing is more important than understanding exactly who your audience is, what their values are, and how they perceive the world. If you can do that, and you can identify what’s important to your audience, you will have an easier time developing a brand message that resonates and gets results.

Understand Which Marketing Segment You Belong to – There are many segments your company can belong to, depending on what it offers. You could be a business coach, a copywriter, or something else entirely. But, you will need to determine exactly which segment you’re in, because it’s very specific. For example, a business coach may coach specific types of business people only, such as those trying to start a coffee shop or those trying to write a book, and so forth.  Knowing the specifics about your target audience can help you send a clear brand message to them.

Define Your Unique Value Proposition – This is exactly what value you offer your clients that makes you unique.  What do you offer that nobody else does? Do you offer them freedom, a way to earn more money, or something else entirely?

Show Social Proof – The more proof you have that you are who you say you are, and that your company does what you say it does, the better. Online, the best way to do that is with a lot of real people liking, following, commenting and otherwise engaging with you. Another way to show social proof, that can be used online or off, is to collect testimonials and raves about your business that you can share on your website and in brochures.

Always Be Relevant to Your Target Audience – Keep up the study of your audience so that you will always be significant to your audience in terms of what you offer them. Keep in mind that even companies like Dove or Coke have had to change their marketing messages over the years to better appeal to their audience.  The more value you can offer to your target audience, the more your brand message will resonate with them.

Be Yourself – The worst thing you can do is try to be someone you’re not. You need to naturally attract your audience by being yourself. Authentically show your passion for your audience and solving their problems, and they’ll become raving fans who share your message for you.

Narrow It Down – The more you can niche down your message to a single point, the better. If you can name one problem you solve for your audience and put that into a tag line so that you can spread that message to everyone, you’ll be that much closer to sending a compelling message about your brand.

Be Authentic – You don’t want to blow smoke when it comes to building your brand message. Brand building isn’t the same thing as advertising, where sometimes it’s okay to exaggerate a little bit. You must be clear and honest with yourself and others about what it is you and your business can do.

Creating a compelling brand message is not an easy thing to do, but if you take control of the message and drive it toward your goals, you’ll come out a winner in the branding game, and more importantly, grow your business.

How to Improve Your Ratings and Reviews

ratings and reviewsGetting great ratings and reviews across your social media accounts like Yelp!, Amazon, and other locations is a great way to build your business. But, sometimes business owners need a little help knowing how to handle the review process to ensure great the best possible results. Here are some tips.

How to Get Great Ratings and Reviews

Follow the Rules – Each network has its own rules. It’s important that you follow them so that you don’t get banned or let non-compliance  harm your ratings and reviews.

Fill Out Profiles Fully – Any place you can put a profile, ensure that you’ve filled it out all the way. Include all the images you can, and include as much information as possible in order to give people enough information about you and your business.

Provide Top-Notch Customer Service – When you provide the best service, you’re going to inspire the best ratings and reviews. If your attention to detail in meeting customer needs is flawless, your customers will love you.  If you encourage them to give you feedback, satisfied customers will tell people about it.  If you under promise and over deliver, people will be blown away and, as a result, give you great ratings and reviews.

Don’t Ignore Negative Reviews – It’s important to take any negative reviews and try to turn them into positive reviews. Phrase a response that is kind, generous, and helpful, and then also contact them privately to fix the issue.  Your overall ratings and reviews will still improve if you take care of negative reviews appropriately.

Check the Filters – On some rating sites, they have filters that try to prevent false reviews from coming through, but they also sometimes filter out correct and good reviews. Be sure to check those filters to ensure that the good ones truly are getting through.

Ask Loyal Customers to Help – When someone has purchased from you, you simply want to follow up with them and ask them to give you a review. Make it easy for them by giving them a link to the places you want them to leave a review.  If you want to boost your ratings and reviews, it makes sense to start with the satisfied customers you already have.

Ask Friends and Family to Help – For some communities this is a rule breaker, so be careful and follow the TOS for any platform. But, if your friends and family can drop by and give good comments about you, that’s an easy way to help improve your ratings and reviews.

Remove Obvious Spam – The one exception to ignoring a bad review is when it’s obvious spam. The best course of action for spam is to simply delete it without comment and, if possible, block the person.

You can improve your ratings and reviews with just a little extra attention to the process. It will help immensely if you ask others for help to get more good reviews. Good reviews can even bury the bad reviews. Don’t forget that you can even turn bad reviews into good reviews by having a good response.  Being intentional about these tips will pay off, and you can quickly improve your ratings and reviews.

15+ Must-Use Social Media Marketing Strategies

Social Media MarketingSocial media is increasingly becoming a significant driving force in the digital marketing space. From helping businesses to promote newer products and services, to helping them acquire greater traffic by allowing them to reach target market with ease, there is a whole lot of stuff that small & big businesses have achieved, thanks to social media marketing.

Moreover being an interactive platform, social media has helped businesses to improve their level of engagement with customers, and has boosted interaction levels making it more personal & customized, which in turn, has lead to increase in brand building & awareness.

But, not all businesses or brands, are yet aware of all the ways that social media marketing can help them to grow their business. Also, being an relatively inexpensive platform, how does one make the most out of this effective tool?

Well here’s the good news.

While searching on the internet for some resource guide on social media, I came across this really impressive and informative infographic. Created & designed by Capsicum Mediaworks, this infographic explains in detail the 15+ social media marketing strategies, that when implemented, can help you to maximize the effectiveness of your social media campaigns.

Best part, you can download or print this infographic and keep it handy, so that you can make use of its practical tips to enhance your next social media marketing campaign!

The Ultimate Guide – Social Media Marketing [Infographic] by the team at Capsicum Mediaworks, LLP

The Ultimate Guide - Social Media Marketing

Best Data Analysis Tools for Your Website

data analysis toolGathering data from your website is not just busy work. Using a data analysis tool can help you do the important work that you need to do in order to ensure that you’re bringing in the most targeted traffic to your website. Studying the information you gather by using the metrics tools available to you will help your business find more clients and be successful.  The choices can be overwhelming, so make sure that what you choose makes sense for your particular needs.

Data Analysis Tools You Should Consider

Moz.com – If you’re serious about search marketing and want to boost your visibility online, you can use all the SEO tools they offer at Moz.com. You can use their pro, local, or content version to help you not only learn valuable information but also to understand what to do with that information once you have it.

SEMrush.com – This data analysis tool allows you to see your competitors’ best keywords, find new competitors, and see how domains change in ranking over time based on their activity. Finding the best SEO keywords will help you rank higher, and will bring more targeted customers to your website.

Maptive.com – This tool allows you to take raw data, an address list, and other information and turn it into an informative Google Map that will help you make vital decisions about sales and marketing. It’s cloud-based and works quickly to give you the kind of actionable information that you need.

Google Analytics – This is tried and true analytics software that has been around for a long time, but you should still use it. It can be used for all sorts of analytics, even if you don’t use AdWords or run Google Ads. Since it’s free, and anyone who has a Google account can use it, why not?

QuillEngage.com – This data analysis tool works with Google to help you make more sense out of your Google Analytics. It’s the “plain English” choice that helps you to deliver the very best results to your customers in an insightful way.

Jumpshot.com – This cloud-based software helps you look into which keywords are getting the most traction and helping you earn the most money. You can also get a detailed list of keywords that any website uses so that you can track your competition.

Practicing well-planned analytics will help you set expectations for what to expect in the future, as well as how to make what you want to happen come true. You can do that by:

1. Determining objectives
2. Studying customer experience
3. Conducting a traffic study
4. Determining visitor loyalty
5. Figuring out conversion rates
6. Fixing broken links
7. Upgrading landing pages
8. Defining your goals and values
9. Creating a funnel
10. Testing and repeating

Good data analysis tools and site data software will help you do all of the above and more. Without being able to look at all your metrics, you won’t be able to define any of the above. But with the information these tools can give you, you can tweak how you do things and improve upon it until you get the results you want for your website.

Mobile Apps for Business and Your Marketing

mobile apps for businessAs technology advances, mobile apps have become a way of life. It is true that for nearly every purpose in life, there is an app. Business owners also now have more freedom than ever before. Google has announced that as of 2015, mobile traffic actually surpassed desktop traffic. With this in mind, it’s important to stay aware of what type of mobile apps for business you should focus on in the coming year. The following are some things to keep in mind as you look at all of the options available to you.

Things to Consider When Using Mobile Apps for Business

Faster Development – They say that the speed at which technology develops doubles every two to two-and-a-half years. Since that’s the case, expect very quick development for mobile apps in the future. The interconnectedness of apps will improve areas of our lives that we may not even imagine right now.

Wearable Technology – Outside of the Apple Watch and fitness bands, there will be all kinds of wearable technology in the future. You’ll be able to track your mood, other aspects of your health, the health of your pets, and much more. These wearable apps will also start interacting with each other, making them even more useful.

Mobile Banking – Now that we can use our banks online, there are more and more apps that make online banking easier to accomplish. You’ll can now watch your account, transfer money, and do a lot more than ever before with apps, so look for even more advanced options in the future in relation to your business.

Internet of Things – This refers to how physical items can connect with apps and internet-type apps. For example, you can get a special button from Amazon to reorder various items that you use a lot such as laundry detergent. Bringing apps activated by the internet to life in this manner has limitless possibilities for business use.

In-App Purchasing – This is going to become even more important as mobile devices and set communities surrounding a particular product now enable reordering or add-on ordering. This is very popular within the gaming community, but it will spread even more through other types of apps.

HTML5 – By the end of 2016 there will be over two billion mobile devices accessing the net and browsing using HTML5. It’s more important to use this technology to build websites than anything else. It works better than other methods, and it’s important that you adopt it sooner rather than later.

Google Apps – Google’s Apps for Work is getting better and more powerful. If you haven’t checked it out yet, it’s important that you do. There are many options for business use.

As the number of people who own mobile smartphones increases, social networking, in-app marketing, location-based services, mobile search, mobile commerce, object recognition, and mobile payments will all become the norm. In light of these advancements, it’s imperative that you check out the mobile apps for business available to you so you can stay on the cutting edge with your marketing strategies.

Essential Social Media Marketing Tools

social media marketing toolsWhether you want to do it yourself or you want to hire a marketing management company, it’s vital to find a way to manage your social media marketing. Social media will become more important than ever as online marketing becomes more interactive than ever before. It’s all about engagement and finding out as much as you can about your audience so that you can offer them what they need and want.  There are many tools available to help you with many of the tasks involved with social media marketing.  Here are a few of those:

Social Media Marketing Tools You Should Be Using

Organizing

Sometimes it helps to have a way to manage all your social media networks in one place. You can do that with Sprout Social, SumAll, Buffer.com, and others to help you get more organized with your social media.

Monitoring

If your budget is limited, a simple, fast, and affordable option for monitoring your social media is Trackur. You probably track your brand name using Google Alerts, as well as names of movers and shakers in your industry. It’s imperative to follow industry influencers and more.

Managing

Using software like Sprout Social will enable you to monitor, respond, and collaborate more easily than having to sign into each account on your own. There is no reason to sign on to each account individually; instead you can use this software to help you streamline your social media activity and save valuable time.

Scheduling

It’s important to use smart automation when it’s possible. Each social media tool has its own types of automation apps, like Hootsuite, which works with several social media networks. Another option is BoardBooster, which works with Pinterest and many others like Buffer, which enable you to reschedule posts on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to ensure that it’s been seen. However, be very careful with too much automation or scheduling too much, as it can be overwhelming and ineffective when that happens.

Analyzing 

One of the most important things you can do to ensure your success is to analyze the results of not only your actions, but also the actions of your competitors. A really interesting tool to take a look at is Rival IQ. This service helps you monitor both your competition as well as your own social media activities.

Insights

If you gain even more insight about the personality of your audience, you’ll consequently be able to even target your competitor’s audiences as well in addition to understanding your own audience better. What do they think of you? What do they think of your products and services? You can get this information using SocialBro software to enable Twitter for business.

Social media allows you to be very close to your target market, even getting insight into your audience’s problems and fears almost immediately. What’s more, social media gives you the opportunity to provide solutions to your audience quickly. With proper social media marketing tools, you’ll be able to hit the ground running and effectively deliver, monitor and evaluate your social media marketing efforts.

Essential Real-Time Marketing Tools for 2016

As popular asreal time marketing tool real time marketing tools have been in 2015, they’re ready to explode into new popularity for 2016. The reason is that technology and high speed internet have made it possible to easily conduct streaming chats, share images, and do much more. If you’re not using any of these tools in your business yet, the time has come. It’s absolutely imperative for the health of your business that you stay current with what your audience is using. If it’s difficult for you to come out from behind your computer and let the world see the real you, but it’s obvious who takes the courageous step to do it…because those are the businesses that come out ahead of the rest.

Real Time Marketing Tools You Should Be Using

1. Snapchat – This messaging app allows you to share photos or videos with a caption, doodle, or special lenses, and it can be an effective way to share out your story to all your followers. It is an amazingly innovative and fun application through which you share directly with friends. What is unique about this approach is that your audience will only see it for ten seconds, and then it disappears. This is an app that you perhaps never thought useful for buness, but there are actually many ways to use this for business if you give it some thought and use a little imagination. For ideas on exactly how to use this for your business, take a look at these suggestions from The Social Media Examiner.

2. Periscope.tv – This live streaming app is owned by Twitter, but it can be hard to use due to all the different functions it has. You can send out live video via your mobile device anytime you want to from anywhere, and then have feeds live on Twitter. Those with the Periscope app can also join via their mobile devices. It’s a very interactive and fun way to promote your business. Unsure on how to use this? Learn how at my Strategix School of Marketing at courses.getstrategix.com.

GET THE REAL TIME CONTENT MARKETING TIPS GUIDE NOW!

3. Blab.im – This app runs online via your computer and has a couple mobile apps out. While comparable to Periscope, it has fewer features and is meant for conducting live radio-like events. You can record your blabs and use the recordings later in a replay, or you can upload to YouTube or even various podcasting apps as audio only files.

4. Yovo.me – This messaging app is interesting in how it works, because you can send messages with images that have selective portions blurred out so that only those who are listed can view the images in full. You can then create group stories using live shots or photos, and add your story to the library. It can also be interactive in that friends can upload different clips to add to the story.

5. Meerkatapp.co – This mobile app enables you to send out live video broadcasts using your mobile device. Both your Facebook and Twitter accounts can be connected to Meerkatapp so that you can stream live to all your followers.

6. Google Hangout – This live streaming broadcast app from Google is an amazing way to market your business. You can host full webinars using Google Hangouts along with various plugins and apps. It truly does meet the criteria of being a “real time marketing tool”.

These six real-time marketing tools have a lot of applications for making your business better than ever in 2016. You just need to know how to use them right for the best results. The best way to get started is just to jump in and try out different tools, find one that you like the most, and stick with it. Make sure you establish a consistent brand and most of all, be yourself. Your audience wants to know who YOU are, and these tools are a great way to do that. There are lots of tutorials and courses out there to learn to use these tools, so there is nothing stopping you! Jump in and let these tools help your business grow!

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Book Recommendation – Negotiation: Essentials of Negotiation How to Convince Persuade and Influence Anyone

NegotiationNegotiation: Essentials of Negotiation How to Convince Persuade and Influence Anyone
Where to buy: www.amazon.com

Why is it important to negotiate? Well, as a salesperson or a business owner looking to find new clients, negotiation is the difference between closing the deal and having someone walk away. Learn the techniques and skills that are indispensible in your line of work. It can all be found in “Negotiation.”

The object is to convince your potential clients that they need what you have to offer. Clients want to make sure that they are not being duped. They want all the benefits that they can get for trying your product. As a salesperson or business owner, it is your job to engage the potential client in a way that makes them jump at your offer. It might sound too good to be true, but if you cultivate the necessary skills in this book and use them to their utmost, this could become your reality.

In the art of negotiations, learn to take your discussions to a new level. Learn to stay ahead in the process so it feels as if you are reading your client’s mind. Avoid the blind spots that trip up many negotiators. Make the most of your time and effort and seal the deal.

Negotiation: Essentials of Negotiation How to Convince Persuade and Influence Anyone

How to Come to a Win-Win Agreement

1200x628Finding fair compromise can be a daunting task, especially if you’re dealing with a particularly difficult or emotionally charged issue. But one thing power negotiators know is that you have to give a little to get a little. Sometimes you have to make concessions when required to reach an agreement. Both of you lose a little, but this is considered a win-win agreement.

Before you go into any type of negotiation, it’s important to ask yourself these key questions to help you be fully prepared.

Questions You Must Answer to Ensure a Win-Win Agreement

What Are Your Goals? – The only real way to come to any type of agreement is to know in advance of the negotiation what exactly your goals are. In addition, make it a point to consider what the other party wants out of the negotiation, too.

What Can You Give? – Before you even go into the negotiation process, it’s important to already have an idea of what you can comfortably give up. You don’t want to go in and immediately give up those things, but you want to know in advance how much you can give and still be happy.

What Happens If You Can’t Make an Agreement? – If you can’t reach an agreement, consider what that will mean for you. Will bad or good things happen based on the agreement that you do come to? If you fail, what will happen? If the other person “wins”, what will happen? Play these scenarios out to determine the importance of coming to a win-win agreement.

What Is the History of Your Relationship? – Before going in to discuss the potential negotiation, you need to analyze the history of the relationship with the other party first. If you know the person, then you probably already have a good idea of how things will be resolved. If you do not know the person, you need to find out as much about them as possible in advance in order to be fully prepared.

Do You Have any Expected Outcomes? – What are you thinking the outcome will be before you even start your negotiation? Are there others who are worried about the issue, and do they have expectations too? Knowing this can affect the decisions you make on the negotiation.

Which One of You Holds the Power Position? – If you hold the power position, then you need to be very understanding of the other person when going through with the negotiations. If the other person holds that position, keep that in mind as you move forward. Knowing the importance of which side of the power you are on will determine your choices during the negotiation process.

What Are All the Possible Solutions? – Go through a list of all possible solutions that could happen, and how each of these would affect you and others. Write down the different scenarios that could happen based off possible agreements so that you will not be surprised by any outcome.

What Are the Consequences? – Determine the costs and benefits of each potential decision. That way you know in advance the ramifications of each choice you make in the negotiation process.

If you both feel positive at the end of the negotiation, then you’ve succeeded in making a win-win agreement. Neither of you had to give up more than you wanted, and you both got what you wanted after the end of the negotiation. A truly successful negotiation will be win-win, and asking yourself these questions ahead of time will help you get there.