I love cultivating roadmaps to success in strategic planning, specializing in Lean Six Sigma methodologies for project management and creating digital brands while managing social media accounts.
If given the option, I would travel the world and work only from my laptop.
Your value is determined by what you can provide for the client not by the rate in which you charge.
It is highly critical that from the very first conversations everyone is clear about what matters most to them. For the client and for yourself as the consultant.
I recently experienced a client that wanted to have BIG numbers. It didn’t matter what those big numbers were or where they were they just wanted to constantly see that arrow on the chart move up. This client in previous years had not done any record keeping of lead generations, they were not showcasing everything their business had to offer or generating revenue from social media. So when I started the conversation about what they were in need of I needed to include this one question.
What does success look like to you?
I’m learning that companies can have tons of needs and gaps that they would like to use digital marketing tool for. Digital Marketing can help fill those gaps very well, but if it doesn’t look and feel like what success looks and feels like to them, you have failed to deliver.
In this particular case, I was giving a fraction of their digital marketing to cover. Let me explain…In a typical digital marketing plan, there are about 8 primary elements to implement.
SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY.
Each of these elements has a second layer. For example…
CONTENT TYPES INCLUDE:
For each content type, there needs to be a focus and call to action.
For this particular client, the focus was an annual trade show and the call to action was registration.
Broken down, I was only providing marketing for an eighth of a marketing plan.
The numbers were phenomenal to have just one-eighth of the elements to post and share. However, the only thing the client understood was the numbers were much higher with their previous social media manager.
The previous social media manager was able to cover all eight elements from the digital marketing plan. Covering one-eighth, my numbers were just lagging by 8 to 12% on any given platform. So when they compare the numbers from last year and all eight types of content to this year and one-eighth of the content they felt like the numbers were extremely low.
I tried to explain, often, the difference between a whole pie and an eighth of a pie. But they didn’t understand because to them success looks like bigger numbers than last year.
We added a registration portal for their largest annual event that wasn’t included in previous years and we were able to collect data about their attendees for this registration event to help us create highly effective social media post to get other attendees registered.
We engaged in messaging and tagging and emailing attendees and exhibitors for the event.
We also added an email marketing campaign that reached out to their very large membership population that included information about their annual event.
We started to collect data, and not just numerical, but we asked questions like “What’s your number one reason for attending? OR “Why did you come back? OR “Is this your first year and how did you find out about this event?” And yet, the fact remains every week they were disappointed when we had to present numbers of one-eighth of the pie.
Many hours were spent being strategic about the one-eighth strategy, that did not have any value to the client. They gave us a $500 a month ad budget. That I was determined to provide the same benefits for below budget. We reached thousands and thousands of people, more importantly, thousands of people that had never heard of the organization or this event. We knew that because of our strategic methods to engage and questionnaires. Our numbers would be amazing.
We were able to provide information that they would not have had had we not included it in our marketing campaign. And yet every week they were stressed when it was time to present numbers to the board because they were comparing apples and oranges or in this case a whole pie and one-eighth of a pie from last year’s data.
I could have saved a ton of trouble and simply paid for likes and impressions and engagement while maxing out on their budget each month.
By not asking the question and making the answer part of the contract and weekly discussion, way too many hours were spent providing analytics in different formats, defending the quality of work and stressful conversations.
Please make sure that when you are asking questions during the initial consultation, to ALWAYS include…
What does success look like to you?
Have you ever had to over give to a client that didn’t understand your value?
When you look back do you feel like the real issue was a lack of communication and understanding?
It might not be KonMari, but this Japanese cleaning technique really works. Ok, this seems like a no brainer, but most of us, myself included, I don’t do a very good job of tidying up. Having an unorganized physical space can create internal chaos. When its time for some Spring Cleaning in my office, I use a Lean Six Sigma Technique called 5 S.
To 5s your workspace follow these simple steps.
1. Sort. This is more of a SORT and PURGE step. If you have a huge inbox like me, I put out 5 baskets on my office floor and I sort through each paper or file. If I know where it goes immediately, I place it in the right basket. If I know its trash, I toss it and If I am not sure, I place it back into my inbox for a second look.
2. Set In Order. Arrange things in a way that makes your day flow. If you only use a hole puncher once a week, it should not be on your desktop. If you use your stapler every day, all day, it should be where you can easily get to it. Do this for all of the functional items on your desktop and then move to your filing system. I am a fan of binders over the hanging files because I feel like I can organize and categorize my items much easier.
3. Shine. Wipe and polish your space. Air dust your keyboard, wet wipe your phone, clean your screen. Use the appropriate polishing items to remove dust. Its not good for you and its not good for your computer.
4. Standardize. Schedule a time every day, week, month and quarter for cleaning. I try to tidy up first thing in the morning when my computer is warming up. Its only a couple of minutes, but its a huge help. Once a week I purge my inbox. I am usually carrying my inbox in my work bag, so when it starts to get heavy, its time to purge. I save my monthly cleaning for the deep stuff. Going through old boxes and cabinets and storage shelves remind me that I don’t need to order another box of paperclips. Take things one step further with your quarterly cleaning. Give yourself a day to take you time and make sure everything is clean.
5. Sustain. DO WHAT YOU SAID YOU WOULD DO! I know it seems simple. It is so easy to say…I’ll get to it later. Make this time as important as any other meeting on your calendar.
Welcome to our Spring Business Building Blog Series!
This Spring we will help you secure leads for the Summer. Don’t buy into the hype that there are slow seasons for your business. During this series, we will show you 21 ways to secure a very fruitful Summer. Take a look at some of the topics we will cover in the next 21 days!
For so many businesses, the summer months are super slow.
Traditionally we have been trained to build our funnels based on our personal calendars. For example, everyone is pretty busy during the holidays. So as business owners we have trained our work calendars to get as much done as possible before Thanksgiving and not to expect much from anyone until after January. The problem with this concept is that it put you behind the curve and you use so much fuel getting back on track that by May you are super tired and ready for Summer. Starting the entire process all over again.
Follow these 5 steps to secure a robust business during the Summer.
Take a Step Back. Redefine your goals to get you through the end of the year. You may have goals, but this time add your personal calendar. For example, I travel with my family for most of the month of July. So I know its not the best time to onboard a new client. I use July to have any corporate retreats and strategic planning sessions. I redefine company goals and confirm the systems I have in place are solid. This helps with smooth transitions as I accept new clients or current client projects.
Get Trained. Sometimes the best ideas come from the opportunity to get better in your craft. Take any training that would help you do your job better, help you reset your mindset, or give you certifications your clients would appreciate.
Give Back. Sometimes stepping away from what we need and focusing on what others need is a great way to put things into perspective. I am a firm believer that the way and amount you give will be given unto you.
Network On Purpose. Pick a 60-day window for intentional networking. Grab your calendar, check out local networking events and make a plan to attend. I would even try some outside of your zip code. Have a game plan when you are ready to network. Know what your needs are, identify your dream connections and be ready for what you can do to help others.
Build Your Digital Presence. We all know social media is a must if you are a business owner looking for more clients or brand awareness. Just remember that your entire digital presence is required to attend in order for you to reach any of your marketing goals. Create a system to build a robust digital presence. My favorite system kinda goes like this.
Drip Email Campaign
Social Media Ads
Social Media Engagement
Social Media Posts
There a ton of ways to stay busy but remember that you want to be productive, not just busy.
BONUS TIP! Get to the root cause of why the summer is a slow month for your business. Is it the product you offer? Just because you sell coats doesn’t mean business has to be slow. Look for international partners, look for influencers that are well organized. They would love to have a heads up on a winter trend. Use this time to redo your marketing photos. Troubleshooting is always done best when you can remove emotions and take a look without being…well…in your feelings.
If you need a little bit of help filling your Spring Funnel to Build Your Summer Business, we have a Spring Special just for you.
BLOG + DRIP EMAIL CAMPAIGN +
30 DAYS OF SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT PACKAGE ONLY
If you would like to receive our extended list of tips on growing your business during the typical slow season, fill out the contact form below.
If you are a creative business owner like myself, you understand the crushing effect of OVERTHINKING. I have to always remind myself that progress is better than perfection and clear is better than clever. This is just something I say to help get myself back on track. The truth is if you create a simple system to follow, to keep you on track, execution and completion will become your best friends!
This post is perfect for the new business owner who wants to get started, but all of your ideas are running around in your head. Its hard to figure out where to start, and the idea of a business plan is way too overwhelming. I created a few systems below that will walk you through all aspects of starting, growing or re-branding a business. I like to keep it simple. The easier it is for you to understand, the easier it is for you to accomplish.
Mission. Vision. Plan.
A mission statement is intended to clarify the ‘what’ and ‘who’ of a company.
A vision statement adds the ‘why’ and ‘how’ as well.
A plan states your purpose and intent.
Niche. Audience. Product.
What makes you special in your industry?
What makes your dream client special?
What makes your product (service) unique and valuable?
Boundaries. Language. Tone.
What won’t your organization do?
From what perspective are you speaking to your audience?
What is your attitude towards your audience?
Design. Image. Posture.
The integration of customer empathy, experience design and business strategy
The perception people have of your business when they hear your company name. (Brand/Logo)
Confidence & strengths to the current and long-term needs of a business.
Strategy. Team. Execution. Assets. Marketing.
A working plan for achieving vision, prioritizing objectives, and competing successfully.
Who do you need to partner with to complement your business?
The function and mindset to finish a project or process.
Your tangible, intangible and intellectual property.
Your internal and external efforts to draw attention to your business.
Do you have any business systems that help you with your business fundamentals?
I am working very hard to decrease the number of accounts I have to log into just to manage my business.
I would like something that is completely all-inclusive. I don’t want to have to worry about logging in different portals or making sure that one portal can integrate with the other one. It seems like every time I get knee deep in figuring out a system, there is a major kink in the link!
I have decided that I am only going to use 5 portals per business. NO MORE! I have created a new Quickbook Online account that I am very excited about.
I plan to use this to its full ability. I also believe that is my first issue. I jump to a new system and use it for what I need at the time and eventually realize I need something different without diving deeper into the services provided.
I have been taking as many classes and watching just about every video I can find to help me streamline my own businesses.
For most solo and micro business owners that have had to create a brand from scratch, the idea itself is overwhelming. Often times just selecting the perfect business cards is enough to put everything on hold because the obsession of getting it right takes over.
Here are 5 questions to ask yourself when creating your Brand Identity System:
Am I being visually consistent? Can someone look at your website, social media or printed material and easily determine that they all belong to the same family? To check this for yourself, visit each platform, take a photo with your phone and then group them in a photo collage. Don’t cheat, take the first image from each digital platform and a snapshot of the last printed piece of material you gave away. Do they all belong together? Would a stranger to your brand be able to tell you if they belonged together?
Is your brand character predictable? When you send an email, does the recipient have an expectation of what they are about to receive before they open it? In our microwave society, some businesses try to be daring and surprising and change things up to warrant extra attention. This is actually not always a good idea. Have you ever gone into your favorite restaurant and they changed the menu? What about when the label changes on your favorite jar of pasta sauce? How did it make you feel? People want to know that they can depend on your brand character.
Is your brand vision crystal clear? With a few scrolls of the thumb or a couple of clicks of the mouse, will potential clients know what you do, who you do it for, how you do it and why your way is unique. Would your current client be able to easily explain to a potential client what you do? How would your current clients describe what makes you unique? Do your current clients know where you want to take your business in the next 5 years? Your brand vision should be common knowledge to your internal and external constituents.
What is your brand value proposition? What are you selling and how will your product or service solve the clients problem or improve their situation? What are your unique benefits? What makes what you do so special? How can you share this? Who do you share this with?
Is your mission palpable? Can others feel your brand mission? Does your brand have a mission so strong and so undeniable that when your brand is seen or heard, it inspires others. Are you creating a culture of brand lovers? Are you providing a place and a purpose for your clients within your brand?
If you are having trouble with creating any of the above mentioned, we can help.
There are three ways to start you on your journey. 1. You can follow this blog and download any of the free printable guides. 2. You can sign up for sessions. There is nothing wrong with learning what to do. 3. We can partner together and take your brand to the next best level.
For more information about creating a brand identity system for your business, you can reach us by email at SOMEDIGITALBLOOM@gmail.com or by phone at 210-201-6474
Schedule a discovery call today! Let’s get things moving along!