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.
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...
As we countdown to Thanksgiving, the new year is on the horizon. For marketers and business owners, that means one thing — it’s time to make a plan.
Your business needs a marketing plan because your marketing and sales efforts will be moot, without a defined strategy in place. Some see marketing plans as a daunting process to delay for as long as possible. At Beckmann Collaborative, we know how much fun it can be to create a fresh new marketing plan.
It's something that helps you understand your target audience, makes you think about the way to communicate your brand, evaluate competitors, and set realistic, measurable goals you can work toward.
To keep things simple, we've come up with a blueprint that organizes your Marketing Plan into Six Sections:
Whether you know it or not, you have a Brand. To get yourself in the right mindset, gather the key elements of your business' branding into one place - everything from your visual...
A recent survey of business decision makers presented some very interesting results.
"86.8% of respondents report that their work environment is in constant flux or lacking clear correct decisions, and 40% say that they’re motivated to change their decision making process because of changing market conditions."
While we absolutely lean on data here at Beckmann Collaborative in our decision making, it's vital to hold on to our key instincts based on life/work experience. This survey by Alpha, a product testing and development company based in New York, found that the central lesson is that "while having data is certainly necessary for good decision making, it’s by no means sufficient."
For thousands of years, business owners made decisions based on their prior knowledge - the data in their minds. Within the past 15-20 years, the digital age has shifted decision making to lean exclusively on...
Earlier this year, I was invited to become an instructor with General Assembly. A few times each month, I would go to their offices in downtown Austin to lead classes such as Intro to Digital Marketing and Intro to Content Strategy. The experience has been more enriching than I originally anticipated. Yes, I’m getting the opportunity to share what I’ve learned by trying and failing or succeeding to others. Hooray for knowledge transfer! Along the way, I learned some valuable lessons and so I perked up when they asked if I wanted to teach even more.
This month I’m leading a 10-week part-time course two nights per week. In preparation for teaching this course, General Assembly (GA) has a thorough onboarding procedure. I call it Training the Trainer. Stepping outside of the usual approach and getting new ideas from GA was incredibly helpful.
Important Aside for Context:
I’ve been training my clients and their teams over the past 4...
Goal setting is the foundation of all your marketing strategy and the tactics you use to fulfill on it. If you want people to make purchases through your website, then shouldn't you be tracking conversions? And if you are going posting to social media and writing blogs every week, wouldn't you like to have a clear understanding of what is working? Isn't it logical that you want to see the effective of your marketing tactics and be able to measure that success or failure?
First, let's look at your business objectives. Wait, you have those setup... right? Does your company have a mission, vision or values? Usually, your mission or vision represent your passion for what you do. It's a good place to start the conversation about goals. For those of us in small business, we are often looking to grow and that's why we are putting all of this effort into a marketing...
A Marketing Audit is a comprehensive, analysis and evaluation of your business' marketing. This includes your goals, strategies, tactics, and the results of your marketing efforts. This is the first step towards creating a powerful marketing strategy - knowing your current situation. Your market audit is a powerful way to get in touch with your brand, products, and services and refocus your marketing efforts.
In this article, you'll learn more about the marketing audit, its components and how it is used.
To begin your marketing audit, evaluate your big-picture plans. What are your current goals or objectives for marketing? What marketing strategies are you employing? What is your marketing mix? Is your marketing team effectively implementing the marketing plan? Are the marketing objectives you set the appropriate ones for your business? If you have never documented the big...
For those of you who know me well, you might easily guess that I’m a big advocate of collaboration in business. Built into Beckmann Collaborative is the understanding that partnerships make us all stronger. When I share resources with my strategic partners, it allows us to improve the quality of each project, increase leads, expand brand awareness, and have a business confidant. These partners are purpose-driven and share some of my values.
Simply put, collaboration is the act of engaging with someone to cooperatively create something. This definition is broad enough for one to understand, but how collaboration shows up in the workplace can often be unclear. This is especially difficult if you are a business owner and have been trained to focus on competition.
When businesses come together with a common purpose to serve a shared mission or customer, we all become stronger. Collaboration means that we find ways to create a bigger impact...
Since today is my birthday (Candice Beckmann), I wanted to share some personal insights from my experiences of growing up with incredible mentoring programs for developing my professional skills.
And I’d like to also express my gratitude for those individuals and employers who saw the importance of investing in me and others.
Mentoring programs help to build skills, not only in daily work duties, but also in the less tangible areas such as leadership, teamwork, confidence, and self-awareness. A great mentor provides priceless advice and guidance, which an employee or mentee will take on throughout her career. Thank you to those who have taken the time and patience to coach and support me over the years.
My life and the lives of those I work with are better because of the opportunities I had to learn and grow with past companies through training and mentoring programs. So I pay it forward as often as possible. I love being in a mentoring...