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I’ve spent some time ruminating about this question – why does it happen…

Scenario A) A company has a great product, a large marketing budget, hires salespeople or distributors, but come up woefully short on sales year to year.

Scenario B) Some upstart company (usually using a substandard website from a single home computer), has an average product, a few hundred dollars of marketing, no salespeople, and drives sales day in, day out.

What is the difference?

WIIFM!

For those of you who don’t know what that acronym stands for – Whats in it for me?

Internet marketing folks know -

They have a short window of opportunity to hit their target in the gut (one click and you’re history).
They know they need a robust database (capture data at every point in the conversation).
They offer something of value (usually at a deep discount to capture contact information).
They need to groom their prospects into customers (usually through systematic drip marketing).
They rarely talk about how great their company is (they let other people do it for them).
They don’t make a big deal about themselves (they know how to be seen without being obvious).
The talk to the customer about their needs and wants (because they know their customer better than they know themselves).
They put the customer behind the wheel (creating ownership and letting the customer solve their own problems, with their help, of course).
They sell the sizzle of the product  (not the steak)
They SOLVE a customer problem (often one they don’t know they have)…

Bottom line, they know their customer inside and out, and solve a problem as a partner, friend or trusted adviser.

There is a factor that B2B marketing managers overlook.  B2B marketing spends thousands of dollars convincing their prospects about how knowledgeable they are.  They “position” themselves as the best solution to the problem.  Rarely do they know what the problem is, just they are the right solution. They SELL, not tell.

Now take a look at your marketing message – how often do you refer to yourself, and how often do you refer to your customer?  Where does the customer see themselves in your marketing message?  Because if they don’t see themselves as a part of the dialog, the chances of you converting the sale is unlikely.

Let me know what you think – how are you marketing yourself?

Betting on Bigger Sales -
Your Marketing Maven,  Christine

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Have you ever spent time ruminating about your mistakes?  Focusing on how you messed up, or worse, lost something near and dear because a personal mistake?  The moment is past, but you are still jailer, judge and jury.  You mete out punishment daily, and fully expect the world to offer the same.

Inviting failure back to live in your mental space daily is a habit.  Good news!  Habits were made to be broken.  They are just a familiar reaction.

The question is…Do you want to live in failure forever?  I’m quite sure the answer in a resounding NO!

I know the old adage, you can’t grow unless you failed a few time.  Well I’m thinking that is totally bogus.

How about a new plan…

Avoid planning for failure:

1) Forget the past – it’s over.

Sure you’ve had your share of setbacks if you’re an adult.  Don’t get stuck in that brainworm, endless loop place of instant replay.  You know where you keep replaying the mistake and looking for ways to repeat it.  Human’s make mistakes – release your need for making it right.  Your brain is great at trying to solve complex problems.  Failure isn’t complex – it’s simple and it’s over – let it go.

2)  Know your path.

This is big – when you’ve decided on a plan.  You will find it is so much easier to walk on the correct path.  You will know where you want to end up.  Then when you sense you’re off the path you will quickly loop back and get right back on the journey.  Success feels right, fear and failure produce the opposite feelings.  Big news – people have a limited lifespan.  Do what makes sense to fulfill your destiny here and now.

3)  Is this your mistake or someone else?

This is going to seem strange.  Maybe the mistake isn’t really a mistake.  Sure there are some biggies that people warn you about.  Youth is famous for “doing it my way” thinking.  Then something clicks later on in their lives.  Maybe I should have listened to my parents, teachers, etc.   I firmly believe you should try to follow the golden rule.  Still in the end are you living your mission?  I have found that many times a mistake is really another person’s disappointment you didn’t fit into their image or plan.  You will still have to look yourself in the mirror everyday.

You shouldn’t go out of your way to lie, cheat, or steal from other people.   The bottom line – you need to live your own personal mission.  Be true to yourself, and most of all forgive your past mistakes.  Seems pretty simple right?

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Happy Sunday readers,

I’ve been thinking about Apollo 13 recently.  Rent the movie for the complete story.  Here’s the synopsis: Three astronauts traveling to the moon have a series of problems while on a space mission.  They had to use their wits, and through the power of logic, come up with some creative solutions quick.

Recently I’ve been counseling someone with a “big problem.”   Everyone usually has several problems which they encounter daily, but there is one (or several) with a lot of juice.  Something that stops them in their track, and keep them up at night.  I like to think of them as Apollo 13 problems.  Most of them are related to money, health or relationships.

This individual was frozen by one of the big three problems, and he couldn’t see any solutions.  He had tried “everything” to fix his problem.  I asked him if he’s tried “everything” which he sheepishly said not everything, but it sure felt that way.  I pointed out if Edison failed 10,000 times to create the lightbulb do you think he tried the same solution 9,999 times and succeeded the last time?  Not likely!

So my suggestion – write down three new solution to this Apollo 13 problem everyday for two weeks.  That would offer him 24 new solutions.  Do it for a month and you would have 90 options.

Now I warned him – don’t filter the suggestions your brain comes up with.  Some of your suggestions are crazy, even illegal, but several of them will turn out to be really creative.  All he needed was one or two great solutions and he was set.

Once he had his list I wanted him to check each solution on a scale of 1-10.  One for minimum effort, ten for maximum effort.  Finally I wanted him to rate his enthusiasm for each solution on the scale of 1-10.  He finally began to see several solutions naturally rise to the top.

You might ask – why would I want him to rate effort and enthusiasm?  Enthusiasm will carry people over the hump of effort, but they might give up if the effort is too difficult when enthusiasm is so low.

In the case of the client he wanted to fix a money problem.  I had him do my Apollo 13 exercise – what he realized was astonishing.  He saw in black and white that his usual solution wouldn’t get different results, but adding a list of new potential ideas he had new possibilities.  He began to feel hopeful he could get new results.

So what are your mission critical problems?   Start with a piece of paper and begin brainstorming to get some new ideas.

I don’t want to give away the story, but in the end everything worked out.

Have a great week from your Mompreneur

Christine

I would love to reach more people – Like us on Facebook or subscribe to the blog

P.S. – RIP Whitney Houston…may you sing on forever.

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I began thinking about belief last night during the Superbowl.  Anyone who is not a football fan, or doesn’t know the Giant’s motto – Believe.  That’s what they did in spades – Eli and team knew in their minds it was a fact they would come home with the Lombardi trophy.  Congratulations to Big Blue

You can work that same magic in your own life.

Today I had a wonderful lunch with a person who keeps me grounded.  She said “I just don’t get mad anymore – I just believe that the right thing is waiting for me.”  She’s one of the most positive people around.  She’s not a Pollyanna, and thinks that everything is perfect.  Rather she just has an understanding that what is the right path will appear.  She doesn’t stress – rather just plugs along – and amazing things happen for her.

I’ve seen it happen in my own life – especially when I step out of the way.

I had a mission to date this one person.  Every single day I said with conviction it would happen.  I didn’t give up for a long time.  Finally when it happened and this person stepped back into my life (moving into my neighborhood from another state) I was elated.  Then after spending some time with this person I realized I could have used my belief powers for a higher purpose.  The relationship was a disaster.

I came to realize that belief can be a double edge sword.  Especially if your focused on another person, place or thing.  Sometimes you need to shoot your arrow a little higher.

I notice when I force things into my own “plan” they usually go haywire.  Then when I step back and just let the flow happen, miracles present themselves. You need to focus your belief onto yourself first, then the right person, place or thing will present itself – not the other way around.

So today the message -”Believe” is a vital part of the success formula.  You can believe in the final outcome, but you can’t direct every piece of the plan.  Rather you just need to believe this is where you’re supposed to be.  What has been given to you is part of your creation.  Finally don’t ask for something without conviction.

Enough for Monday -

Make it a wonderful week – Christine

Your Mompreneur Coach

 

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Today’s post is about fishing

Here’s a story.  My grandfather would drag me every summer to a lake in Minnesota.  It was the most GOD-AWFUL experience for a teenage girl.  He would take out the boat early in the morning.  Every once in a while he would grunt and stop the boat.  Hour after hour we would circle the open waters looking for mudflats.  To my casual observation it was hellish – looking back on it – it was brilliant.

Rather than wasting a whole bucket of minnows or worms on worthless feeder fish he was looking for the elusive Walleye – the prized fish from that lake.

So you might be wondering why I’m talking about fishing…

Well – it’s because most people who are struggling with business are fishing in the wrong place.

Struggling business owners spend all of their valuable time fishing for customers in the wrong places.  They use their best bait trying to land any kind of customer.  Then they focus all their attention to get any prospects into their boat.  At the end of the day the results are disappointing.

All the while they ignore the big fish swimming close by.  Sooner or later the average fisherman gives up, and takes up golf.

This is my formula to become a better fisherman…

1) Know your fish

Where does your fish hang out?  Are they local clients hanging out at Chamber events?  Are they businesses on the internet?  Does your business cater to a specific type of business customer, or a consumer.

2) Plan your fishing trip, and be patient

Find out information about the lake.  Don’t throw all your bait (advertising and networking) away at the beginning of the fishing trip.  Put out a feeler line in a spot.  When you get a bite, plan to fish in that same spot until the fish move somewhere else.

3) Bring enough resources

Fisherman are very resourceful.  They bring enough resources to stay out on a lake all day long.  Translated, don’t go out on the lake of business unless you can wait out finding the big fish.  Better to wait until you have the resources, than take short trips back and forth to shore.  You’ll have a better chance finding the real fishing spots, not just the obvious shore fish.

4) Become a better fisherman

Fishing is about patience – I’ve found that many business owners suffer from impatience. They think every fish swimming by will be so enamored with their bait fishing will be easy.  They don’t realize how picky fish are.  You’re target market is looking at bait from a lot of lures.  When you know what tickles your target market’s fancy your bait will be the most attractive.  The only way that happens – know your fish

Are you still struggling planning with your fishing trips?

Last piece of advice don’t assume it’s the equipment.  Smart fisherman won’t buy a bigger boat, or a better lure.  Translated to business – Smart marketing doesn’t need a bigger website, or brand advertising.  Targeted direct marketing maybe the bait you need to find your prize fish.

As my grandfather always said – you won’t get more fish with a bigger boat, but you will feed your family with patience.

So today’s question to ask yourself – are you fishing in the right pond (location) for the right fish (customer) with right bait (marketing/advertising/sales process)?

Shameless plug – if you aren’t sure you’re reaching the right clients contact a marketing professional (such as Lady In Red Marketing) for a second opinion.  Better to work with a professional fisherman than starve.

Until next time – live with passion and market well

Christine Cavaliero
Owner – Lady In Red Marketing

 

Lady In Red Marketing is your virtual marketing partner helping you maximize your business results – Like us on FacebookBestSEOinTown helps you reach your internet customers with social, mobile and internet marketing.

 

 

 

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Hey LIR readers…

Just checked out my mashable feed on Facebook. There was an excellent article about 5 jobs startup business owners shouldn’t do themselves.

1) Copywriter
2) Copy Editor
3) Facebook Marketer
4) SEO consultant
5) Email Marketing Specialist

Reading the comments I want to add Mobile Marketing & PPC Marketer.

Here’s a link to Anna Lindlows article on Mashable.

Happy reading…
Christine Cavaliero
Lady In Red Marketing

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I’ve decided!

Every month from now on I’m going to discuss the spiritual side of marketing. Each business is alive – we tend to think of business as a “thing.” But it is truly a living entity – it was conceived from the ethos – brought into being by your work and passion.

So this morning I’m motivated to talk about holding pattern insanity. Doing the same activities, but expecting different results. Now if you’ve built a better mousetrap, and you are waiting for customers to beat down your door, frankly you’ll starve. No one is going to go out of their way to find you. Unless they’re in a state of crisis, and you’re the only person in the universe who can solve the problem. (Doubtful, and if you live in that universe, send me an invitation).

So as this month is coming to a close my the motivational message this month – Arouse yourself from your lethargy. . . it’s later than you think!!!

Today if you want different results – DO SOMETHING DIFFERENTLY!

To break up the lethargy – for the next 30 days I suggest you take a different route to work, eat at a different restaurant, speak at a networking events. The goal is to notice something around you everyday.  Stop being myopic when it comes to business leads.

You’re going to become an accidental tourist in your life. Speak to a stranger in a check-out line. Ask someone what they do for a living…Ask them for a business card. Be interested in something other than selling yourself.  You will find hundreds of opportunities to meet new prospects.

Give yourself a goal – “for the next 30 days, I will speak with 5 people each day about (my business, products and service) or hand out 5 business cards to people I meet.”  Never assume that people know what you do, you might be surprised. People rarely know how you can help them.

So my next suggestion is going to be controversial – Solve a problem they didn’t know they had. For example – you’re an electrician. You see someone at the local Home Depot struggling to make a decision in the fixture aisle. Start some small talk about electrical problems. Then listen for their problem, such as “My husband is terrible at fixing things…I can’t decide what’s the best fixture for the bathroom, etc.” You know how to solve that, give them a business card, and ask if you can call them to see how the project is going. What could it hurt – they have a problem, you have the solution.

So next month we’re going to discuss follow-up marketing…

Statistics prove that 90% of your networking activities people don’t follow-up. Do you follow-up or forget and put it off till later?  Believe me, later will never come.  You’ll forget, and another opportunity to make a connection is

So you’re going to build your database with connections over the next 30 days and contact them throughout the month of May.

Technical issue alert!
I just found out about a glitch in my RSS feed. If anyone has tried to sign-up for my RSS feed or Mailing list and failed – sorry. It’s a technical glitch on my side. I’m working out the bugs this weekend – hopefully everything will be good on Monday.

Peace & Joy to all my friends celebrating Easter & Passover

As Always – Market Well
Christine Cavaliero
Lady In Red Marketing – Your Spiritual Marketer

Take a moment – Visit my facebook page and like my business.  I appreciate it! www.facebook.com/ladyinredmarketing

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Hello All Readers-

This has been a crazy few weeks.  Time seems to fly when your immersed in work.  I don’t need to go into specifics, but let me tell you my head is swimming.  The past few weeks have been a whirl-wind of sales calls.  Most of them amounted into “much ado about nothing.”  Frustrated I began to introspect – what the heck am I doing wrong?

Which leads me to my blog post today.  Talking can be deadly when it comes to sales.  We all know a salesperson who can “sell ice to Eskimo’s.”  I assumed my father was one of those people.  He commanded authority with his facts and figures.  He was a wealth of knowledge about every subject.  Everyone seemed to love him, but he had an average sales career!  After I took off my rose colored glasses I began to examine why.  My father was a schmoozer, but not a closer.  Then I identified this happens to a lot of salespeople.

I identified an average salesperson has two distinct character flaws.  First, they throw around facts, figures, technical terms and acronyms.  Depending on the industry listening to a sales pitch seems like gibberish.  The more complicated the subject, the more gibberish is floated around.

Your average customer doesn’t need to know every technical specifications, or your industry babble. Floating too many facts will make them weary.  The customer assumes you’re trying to hide behind the facts.  The techno-babble will make them throw more questions at you.

Back to my problem – talking about social marketing, blogs, posts, SEO, traffic, conversions, and webpages frighten prospects away.  They only care about more leads, and more business.  Asking a prospect about their website put them on the defensive.  They don’t want to appear out of touch – so they will shut down the conversation, rather than appear naive.

Prospects just care about solving THEIR problem.  A long list of a facts will rarely impress them into buying.  Your job as a salesperson is to identify their most pressing problem first.

P.S. – the last thing most sales hinge on is price.  If your customer is sold, they will always find the money…

Second, average salespeople talk TOO MUCH.  The customer is thinking, they’re talking.  The customer is looking, they’re talking.  The customer is talking, they’re talking over them. The customer is walking out the door, they’re chasing them down talking all the way.

The best advice I ever heard from a manager was ask a question, and then BE QUIET.  The person who speaks first loses. Good sales technique identifies what people really want to know, and how it differs from what you’re telling them.

Bottom line – keep everything simple.  Stop trying to make the sales process complicated.    You can’t talk someone into a sale, but you can sure talk them out of one.  Need a perspective – give your pitch to a person in a “non-sales” environment.   Gauge reactions, listen for their critical questions, wait for the “WOW” look in their eyes.

Have a good week and market well,

Christine

 

As always – If you like what I’ve said – retweet, Like my fanpage, and check back often.  Post a comment  -  Know of a business professional who is interested in social, mobile and website marketing.  Let them know about Lady In Red Marketing – forward them my blogposts and URL.

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My thoughts center around measurement today.

I know we’ve all had a long, cold (and here in Connecticut) snowy winter.  How much snow?  By most people’s estimation – too much, but by skiers estimation not enough… At my house we’ve had about 95 inches of the white stuff.  Which equal the following metrics.  I measure it by paying for 8 driveway plows, but my daughter’s summer vacation is a little shorter this year.  They added another week in June to make up the 5 snow days.  My point?  Everyone measures things differently despite the face we’re still measuring the same thing…results from snow.

When a prospective client contacts me the first order of business is knowing what results they want their marketing to accomplish.  Visibility, sales, email sign ups, SEO, traffic, social dialog… the sky is the limit.  As a former boss and mentor said – you can’t manage what you don’t measure.  You need a goal to shoot for to create a good marketing campaign.  What do you want to measure with your social marketing initiative?

The newest changes to FB fan page administration give us more robust marketing data.  We can see when people are reading posts, or liking our FB page.  (PS – that’s a hint – visit my facebook page and click the like button).  When you need to get interaction – ask a question.  How about posting some pictures or a video.  Use your voice, and make a big noise on the web.

Still small business have a little (or big) of fear of the web.  For example, a small business owner is already overwhelmed by the day-to-day operations.  On social networks the discussion is more frequent, but less sales oriented.  Adding a marketing tactic where they need to manage frequent interaction is not in the cards.  Get in the social game, and start to share some knowledge.

Don’t shy away from using the tools.  Hiring a social marketing consultant to manage some details may be warranted.  Either way plan accordingly – you need to keep up your social discussion thread.   Bottom line – Get a group of loyal followers who want what you offer – and talk to them often.

While I can’t promise specific results I’ve seen business owners double website/social traffic results in only 90 days from a robust social marketing program.  Let’s chat if you’re interested in hearing about driving traffic to your small business by website, social or mobile marketing.  Our services work for clients who want to dominate their local marketplace with underground business marketing.

Here’s to a successful week – market well!

Christine

According to a Huffington Post  70% of small business owners have a FB page – read the article.

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Today as I was planning my day a thought crossed my mind.

Most people think of Google, Yahoo and Bing as the big dogs, and the place to be seen on the web.  Optimize for those search engines, and you’ll have all the traffic you can handle.  Well that’s only 1/3 right.  Google is the big dog of the search engine world, but you have to factor in Facebook and YouTube into optimization plans, they’re the other most used/searched sites.  This explains why social marketing, and video marketing are so important to maximize your SEO efforts.

Your website needs to be visible to your target market.  Plan to be where the visitors are surfing.  Facebook and YouTube aren’t just for the 20 somethings.  Seems like everyone is joining the social global conversation.  With the smart phone revolution it’s only a matter of time before mobile phone marketing becomes another segment of your marketing mix.

You can’t just set it and forget your social marketing.  Facebook purges information quickly.  YouTube has an equally short shelf life.  People don’t have 15 minutes of fame anymore – now they have a minute and a half video clip. (Anyone remember the Golden Voice guy…Ted Williams?)

Has our attention span gotten shorter?  I’m sorry – what did you say – I forgot what we were talking about.

So thoughts of FREE advice went though my head.

Yesterday I posted a tweet about the one-eyed website designer.  This thought stemmed from a recent email exchange.  A family member asked me to evaluate his  website.  Hey we’re an Italian family so you don’t blow off a family request…so I took a look as the site.

The site was average, lacking HTML keywords, and stuffed with slick graphic elements.  Funny thing about the website – big promise -  he was an SEO expert.  He claimed he would put together websites for his clients that “reached the first page of Google.”  Why would he want a second opinion from a fellow marketer like me?

Because he wasn’t a website designer, nor an SEO expert.  He was a business person who purchase a franchise in a box, and really didn’t know what he was doing.

I’m all for new business opportunities, but you should probably know something about the industry you’re planning to join.  Especially if you’re going to call yourself an “expert.”  That’s a title bestowed upon you, not something you put on yourself.  Heck you’re not Napoleon, you can’t crown yourself emperor.  When you get a gut reaction your adviser is full of BS…run for the hills.

As my grandfather said – free advice is worth the money you’ve paid for it.

Have a good week and market well-
Christine

P.S. – Keep those comments coming, and as I said before if you have a project you want me to evaluate please contact me. I’m evaluating a few new social marketing products and services to launch soon.

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