The Realistic Marketing Plan

When you're on a budget (of both time and money), it can be tough to step away from billable work to focus your efforts towards working "on the business." And yet, a realistic marketing plan is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that billable work continues to roll-in. Without customers, there is no business. Without marketing and sales, there are no leads to become customers.

Marketing is NOT Rocket Science, nor is there a Magic Formula

Sorry to all of my marketing entrepreneur friends selling a formula, but I simply disagree. At its core, marketing is simply the ways a business most effectively communicates what they do and why they do it with the intention of generating revenue from those communications. No formula that someone creates will always apply to you. There will be cool ideas embedded in a formula for sure, just remember that your business - like a fingerprint - is unique to you. 

How has Marketing become so Complicated?

Like any other...

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Top 10 Sales Fails and CRM Pitfalls

crm strategy zoho Nov 11, 2019

Dear Fellow Entrepreneur, Business Owner, Marketer, and Salesperson,
(I currently am all of these roles in my business) 

    Some salespeople appear to have a secret formula or to have inherited their natural sales traits, right?  There's more to sales than raw talent.  You don't need to be born into sales. The truth is that companies offering proper training and support are much more successful than competitors who expect their natural-born sellers to carry the load.

If you feel the pressure and fear making silly mistakes, then check out our Top 10 list of sales fails and CRM pitfalls. You can circumvent these issues in your business, as long as you have a plan and plenty of practice. 

 

Why Are You Struggling to Sell?

What are your Sales Fails?

Let's start with the list of possibilities. Click any of the phrases below to read more about it or just scroll through the list. 

  1. Unclear Process from Marketing to Sales
  2. Poor...
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CRM Strategy and Getting Started with Zoho CRM

If you are currently shopping around for the right CRM System, chances are that you already understand the value of customer relationship management. Right? 

Have you come up with a clear plan or strategy for HOW you will use Zoho CRM in your business? New technology is fun and the idea of automating processes is very appealing. The hitch is that planning work needs to be put in before you start uploading contacts and setting up workflows. 

If you already have a CRM Strategy, then you can jump down the page to the "Intro to Zoho CRM" section.

 

Offer Value + Listen, Watch and Ask.

Clients ask me about how to write social media posts that will connect with their customers or emails that will get opened because of a good subject line.

The first thing I tell them is to be sure they are offering something of real value. Offering value is through your marketing is called a  content marketing strategy and it's a powerful tool.

The second thing I...

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5 Reasons You Need a CRM Strategy

What is a CRM?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. This term is used by sales teams to describe contact management for leads. Among high-tech marketers, it usually refers to the software or systems used to manage relationships. 


    Before you jump into a CRM software, remember that first and foremost CRM is a part of your sales and marketing strategy. If your goal is to grow long-term relationships with customers and prospects over time to increase revenue and lifetime value, then you are seeking a smart CRM strategy. Everyone has a different bend on what CRM Strategy means - ranging from personalized communications to retargeting email ads. At the end of the day, CRM is all about how you can optimize Customer Relationships to maximize your sales.

 While I could go into all of the logistics behind why CRM is vital to your business. Today I'll keep it simple by sharing with you 5 simple reasons that a customer relationship management...
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Connecting with Customers Using Zoho CRM

crm strategy zoho May 15, 2019

The following information is sourced from the Zoho CRM help guide. I found it to include helpful insights, so I'm sharing it with you. 


While customer relationship management is an important aspect of running a business, it can often become overwhelming due to the extensive amount of work involved. You must always ensure you are keeping in touch with your customers through email and over the phone so you don't miss out important leads or a potential deal. In the meantime, it is also crucial to stay on top of your projects. Sometimes such multitasking may show downside effects on the overall functioning of your business.

Zoho CRM aims to make this easier for you by providing multiple features under a single platform. Collectively, these features can help you a great deal in enhancing communication with your customers.

 

Email: You can send emails to your customers from your Zoho CRM account. You can also integrate your personal email accounts with CRM to make sure the...

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Conversion Conversations

Conversion from a lead into a customer does NOT require magic or manipulation. There are many misconceptions about what a conversion is and how to measure it. Before we get into the how, let's define conversion. 

 

The traditional definition of conversion is the process of changing or causing something to change from one form to another.

 

A marketing definition of conversion is getting a potential customer/client to respond to your call-to-action. When marketers talk about conversion, it often relates to views, clicks, likes, and paid transactions.

 

One example of a marketing / sales conversion is getting someone to open an email, while another may be someone making a purchase.

 

Get Conversions From Conversations

Conversations, unlike a social media "like" or an email "click through", offer a deeper understanding of your brand, as seen through the eyes of a customer.  No, a conversation does not exclusively happen in person or...

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Customer Retention Strategies for Small Businesses

Keeping a good friend is a lot easier than making a new one, right?  The same goes for customers / clients. Maintaining your existing customer relationships is less expensive and has a better return on your investment. While it's important to put energy into your "top of funnel" efforts to find new people, I would argue that it's MORE important to work on customer retention strategies.

 

Creating a Customer Retention Strategy

The biggest challenge for many companies looking at their customer retention is where to begin.  Here are 5 practical customer retention strategies you can use to keep your existing customers happy over the long-term and increase your profits.

 

1. Customize Your Content Strategy

Speak / Write to your existing customers like you know them - because you do! No one wants to feel like another number, so create customized messaging for your customers based on their history with you.

If you know about their purchase history, then send an email...

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An Introduction to Content Strategy

Honesty. It's a word that so many of us claim to live by and be a reflection of our lives. And yet, business owners sometimes forget the importance of honesty when promoting their brands. While marketing is often tied to the idea of stretching the truth, padding the truth, or "making it sparkle" to sell, that is not Good Marketing.  Business owners aren't trying to be dishonest by marketing their brands. The Man Men era of advertising taught many people that it is necessary to "trick" consumers into buying from us - and it's simply not true.

Business Owners and Marketers: You have the power to end this ridiculous way of thinking starting here and now.  No one wants to be tricked into buying anything, because they end up feeling deceived and angry later. 

Our goal as business owners is to offer a valuable product or service to the people who want and need it. That's it. Authentic marketers understand this idea and we run with it by offering value using...

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Lead Generation and Funnel Basics

What's Your Lead Generation Plan?

While I love content marketing, storytelling and expressing business concepts through the written word and images, it’s all useless if you haven’t laid out a lead generation plan for your company. The phrase lead generation can seem overwhelming to non-marketers. I assure you that there is nothing to fear. Here is a quick-start guide to your lead generation plan and understanding a common "marketing funnel" in action.

  

Quick Start to Lead Generation

Creating Awareness About Your Company / Product / Service

This is the step you are most likely doing right now. When you publish a blog, publish a post on social media, attend a conference, or speak at an event, you are creating awareness of your company / brand. Make the best use of these tactics. When it comes to website content and social media, allow readers to subscribe to get updates. This can be done with an email newsletter or using an RSS Feed.

...

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Successful Business Relationships Begin with Trust

GUEST POST by Jamie Williams

Would you create a relationship with someone if you felt they were not trustworthy? Are you wasting valuable time working with someone who does not have you or your business’ best interests at heart?

Trust is the foundation of all relationships, both personal and professional. In order to grow that trust, we need to establish the foundation first. Building strong relationships can set you up for success. Below are a few ways to establish trust and create lasting relationships.

As a virtual assistant, I am always creating and maintaining relationships with clients (one being the amazing Candice!). Building trust is key to ensuring the success and growth of our clients. To me, trust is a feeling of security, a way to show someone that I am knowledgeable, reliable, honest, and always have their back.



There are Many Different Ways to Establish Trust in Business Relationships:

  • Be Personable
  • Communicate
  • Be Honest
  • Be Respectful
  • Exceed...
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