Success Requires Burning a Few Bridges

Success Requires Burning a Few Bridges

KEYNOTE

Success Requires Burning a Few Bridges

Conventional wisdom tells us to never burn bridges as we don’t know if we will need to cross them again. While this advice is often valid, there are situations that require us to resist convention in order to achieve the success we desire and create the life we want.

 

Timeouts Aren’t Only for Kids

Timeouts Aren’t Only for Kids

KEYNOTE

Timeouts Aren’t Just for Kids

In today’s hypercompetitive and fast-paced environment, communications professionals must manage competing “on-demand” priorities and consistently up their game to succeed. Giving yourself permission and having the discipline to take timeouts enable you to recover, refuel and re-engage to achieve greater professional and personal success. Learn the strategies employed by business titans that can help you transform your work and life.

Unlock the Amazing Power of Social Proof to Increase Sales

Unlock the Amazing Power of Social Proof to Increase Sales

Unlock the Amazing Power of Social Media
Unlock the Amazing Power of Social Proof to Increase Sales

It’s said that the power of social media can make or break your business. And we couldn’t agree more. After all, there are now over 4.5 billion social media users worldwide! One thing that has changed over time when it comes to building business credibility, boosting sales and earning customers’ trust is the way prospects use the internet and social media.

Previously, brands were focused on topping search engine page results. However, today, this is just not enough for building brand credibility and improving sales. Brands need to focus on ranking in the top searches plus social proofing. Let’s take a deeper dive to understand this concept better.

What is Social Proof?

The driving force behind the idea of social proof is FOMO (fear of missing out). This is a feeling of anxiety we get when we feel we’re missing out on better experiences in life. Therefore, to ensure we enjoy the best life has to offer, we rely on other people’s experiences, recommendations and referrals. That’s where social proof comes into the picture.

Social proof works for both potential customers and brands. It provides external validation from actual users/customers, making a business more trustworthy and credible. In other words, it focuses on positive reviews, comments, or experiences shared by customers. Therefore, when applied to marketing, social proof shows that if the product or service worked for people in a similar situation, it will work for the potential customer too.

And let’s not forget humans are hardwired to care more about what others think. So, social proof can truly help businesses build brand credibility and trust, thereby increasing their customer base and sales. The key to effective social proof is keeping it real. Real opinions of real people; no trickery!

Let’s Talk Statistics….

Nothing shows the true power of any marketing strategy other than statistics. Here are the numbers that reveal the importance of social proof for your business in modern times.

  • 91 percent of buyers read online reviews before they make a purchase
  • 82 percent of people seek recommendations and referrals before they purchase a product/service
  • 79 percent of people prefer to view video testimonials, while 2 out of 3 people are more likely to engage with the brand after watching them

Simply put, social proof builds your credibility and increases your sales opportunities.

Incorporate Social Proof into Your Marketing

As the social media landscape continuously expands, employing the right strategy on the right platform will optimize your marketing efforts and increase your social proof along with your sales opportunities. That said, LinkedIn is a must for both business-to-business and business-to-consumer brands as buyers and consumers will evaluate your personal and company profiles before during business with you or your company.

For business-to-business companies, LinkedIn is the most important social media platform as evidenced by the following statistics.

  • 76 percent of B2B buyers prefer working with recommendations from their professional network
  • 75 percent of B2B buyers rely on social media for making buying decisions
  • 50 percent of them use LinkedIn as the leading source for making purchase decisions

For business-to-consumer companies, Instagram and Pinterest offer great opportunities to engage with consumers and provide a direct consumer sales channel. It is also helpful to have an active LinkedIn personal and company profile to provide additional social proof.

  • 90 percent of people on Instagram follow a business
  • 89 percent of users are on Pinterest for purchase inspiration
  • 83 percent of people use Instagram to discover new products and services and 87 percent said they took specific action, like making a purchase, after seeing product information
  • 60 percent of Pinterest users start their product research on the platform

Other ways to integrate social proof into your customer journey are:

  • Customer testimonials and reviews
  • Case studies
  • User generated content
  • Awards, accolades and certifications
  • Celebrity and influencer endorsements

Every business is unique, so it is crucial to develop a customized social media strategy that works best for you. This is where we can help. Join our free live Social Media Made Simple Strategy Session to learn the best methods to unlock the power of social proof for your business.

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Unlock the Amazing Power of Social Proof to Increase Sales
Unlock the Amazing Power of Social Proof to Increase Sales

Unlock the Amazing Power of Social Proof to Increase Sales

It is said that the power of social media can make or break your business. And we could not agree more. After all, there are now over 4.5 billion social media users worldwide! One thing that has changed over time when it comes to building business credibility, boosting sales and earning customers' trust is the way prospects use the internet and social media.

Read More

5 Insanely Simple Questions to Boost Your Marketing
5 Insanely Simple Questions to Boost Your Marketing

5 Insanely Simple Questions to Boost Your Marketing

Whether you are operating a small business with a few employees or you're a freelancer or solopreneur, the ability to effectively market your products and services to your target customer is vital. Before developing your marketing campaigns, it's important to develop a well-thought-out strategy that conveys the right messages and achieves your marketing goals.

Read More

5 Insanely Simple Questions to Boost Your Marketing

5 Insanely Simple Questions to Boost Your Marketing

5 Insanely Simple Questions to Boost Your Markeing
5 Insanely Simple Questions to Boost Your Marketing

Whether you’re operating a small business with a few employees or you’re a freelancer or solopreneur, the ability to effectively market your products and services to your target customer is vital. Before developing your marketing campaigns, it’s important to develop a well-thought-out strategy that conveys the right messages and achieves your marketing goals.

To do this, it’s important to first get back to basics and align your marketing goals with your business strategy. Start by asking yourself these insanely simple but crucial marketing questions from your target customers’ perspective.

1. What primary challenge does your product and service solve, or what opportunity does your product create for your customer? 

Although this question may be an obvious one, it’s often overlooked by small business owners, freelancers and solopreneurs. Before you develop your next marketing campaign, think about the reason you developed the product or service for your specific target customers.

2. What unique experience do you provide to your customers? 

Think about how you make your customers feel appreciated. Perhaps, you provide a complimentary follow-up service or make your customers feel extra-comfortable when they visit your business. Whatever your customer enhancement experience, consider making it a part of your marketing strategy.

3. When your ideal customer is searching for your product or service, what search terms will they use? 

Keywords are the foundation of digital marketing. Finding the right keywords means thinking like your potential customer—use simple search terms and consider combining those terms with the geographic locations you serve. This approach will strengthen your marketing and increase your visibility.

4. Where are your customers most likely to search for your product or service? 

Consider your audience when pondering this question. Determine where your targeted customer will most likely search for your product or service and will be receptive to your marketing campaign. In short, your marketing efforts should align with your customers behavior, so you show up where they are not where you would like them.

5. If your prospective or current customer isn’t ready to buy your product or service, what is the next action you’d like them to take in your marketing funnel? 

While a prospective customer might not be ready to buy at this time, your marketing should help encourage them to become your customer. First, you should offer opportunities for them to engage with your brand by signing up for a newsletter, engaging with your social media content or taking other actions after they’ve discovered your product or service.

Developing a rock star marketing strategy that increases the visibility of your brand, products and services, engages with your targeted customers and creates opportunities to secure leads and sales, is within your reach. Using these five insanely simple questions to guide your marketing efforts will increase your success.

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Related Content

Unlock the Amazing Power of Social Proof to Increase Sales
Unlock the Amazing Power of Social Proof to Increase Sales

Unlock the Amazing Power of Social Proof to Increase Sales

It is said that the power of social media can make or break your business. And we could not agree more. After all, there are now over 4.5 billion social media users worldwide! One thing that has changed over time when it comes to building business credibility, boosting sales and earning customers' trust is the way prospects use the internet and social media.

Read More

5 Insanely Simple Questions to Boost Your Marketing
5 Insanely Simple Questions to Boost Your Marketing

5 Insanely Simple Questions to Boost Your Marketing

Whether you are operating a small business with a few employees or you're a freelancer or solopreneur, the ability to effectively market your products and services to your target customer is vital. Before developing your marketing campaigns, it's important to develop a well-thought-out strategy that conveys the right messages and achieves your marketing goals.

Read More

5 Insanely Simple Questions to Boost Your Marketing

024: 5 Insanely Simple Questions to Boost Your Marketing

Show Notes

[00:00:39] Whether you’re operating a small business with just a few employees or you’re a freelancer or solopreneur, your ability to effectively market your products and services to your customers is vital. And, to effectively market your products and services, you first must get back to the basics and align your marketing goals with your business strategy.

[00:01:01] Once you have accomplished this, your next step is to develop a well-thought-out strategy to convey the right messages, deliver them on the right channels, and monitor your metrics to achieve your marketing goals.  You may be wondering how do I do that?

[00:01:19] Well, you start by asking yourself these five insanely simple but crucial marketing questions. You answer them from your target customer’s perspective. I want to say that again. You answer the questions based on how your target customers would answer the questions, not how you feel they should answer the questions.

[00:01:44] So that’s going to require that you do some research, talking with your current customers, as well as your ideal customers to get a better understanding of their perspective and their behaviors when they’re trying to identify products and services that you sell.

[00:02:02] Now, the first question is what primary challenge does your product and service solve or opportunity does it create for your customers?

[00:02:14] I know this is an obvious question, but it’s one that most small business owners, solopreneurs and freelancers often overlook when developing their marketing strategies, their messages, as well as their campaigns. This is an extremely powerful consideration for your marketing efforts and provides tremendous insights for your marketing communications.

[00:02:38] Again, we’re going to answer this from your customer’s perspective, not how you feel they should answer the question.  As you prepare for your next marketing campaign, you should really think about the reason you developed the product or service for your specific target customers. And the benefits of your particular product or service provides for them?

[00:03:03] While many business owners can clearly articulate their personal reasons for starting their businesses, including wanting to be their own boss or finding more satisfaction in their personal life or even creating wealth, oftentimes, they find it challenging to express why their business helps their customers. Whether your new product or service disrupted the marketplace, or you provide a product or service in a well-defined and mature market, focusing on why your business provides value to your customers is a major component of successful brand and marketing strategies.

[00:04:01] The second question to ask is what unique experience do you provide for your customers? Now, I know this is extraordinarily difficult because a lot of business owners feel that they’re not doing anything unique. They’re providing good customer service. They’re providing a quality product or service and that’s the end of the story.  Actually, that’s where your story begins. Every business is unique.

[00:04:35] The experiences that you create for your customers are unique. And while your products or services may already exist in the marketplace, how you deliver them and how you care for your customers is unique. No two businesses do it the same. And therein lies the opportunity for you to begin differentiating your products and services in the marketplace. But to do that, you absolutely have  to drill down to what is unique about how you deliver your products and services for your customers.  Then, you need to make sure that your brand is reflective of those unique characteristics that you provide, whether its exceptional customer service, value added opportunities for your customers.

[00:05:31] I’d like to take a few minutes to talk about why your brand is so crucially important to your marketing efforts. Strong brands convey the value that you provide to your customers and the promise that you make to them. It’s extremely important to know that your brand is built from the inside-out and that there are absolutely no shortcuts to creating a positive, recognizable and profitable brand.

[00:06:28] Here’s why you’re a small business brand is so important to your marketing efforts. Without a consistent, proactive and purposeful brand strategy. You are diffusing your ability to successfully position yourself in the marketplace and confusing your customers. You’re essentially adding additional complexity and unnecessary time to your sales cycle and you’re reducing your ability to cross sale and up sale your customers. But by far, most importantly, without a strong brand strategy, you are significantly weakening your value proposition, diminishing your ability to command premium pricing and  creating more of a challenge for your marketing messages to resonate with your target customer base.

[00:07:24]  If you would like more information on this topic, check out podcast number one, Branding Matters: Unlock Competitive Advantages for Faster Growth. 

[00:08:19] The third question to ask is when your ideal customer is searching for your product or service what search terms will they use? You can exponentially strengthen your marketing and increase your visibility by thinking like your current and potential customers and use the search terms and keywords they will actually use when searching for your product or service in your marketing efforts.

[00:08:49] This immediately will help you begin the process of connecting with your customers. It will make you more discoverable, and it will also  increase the opportunity of your ability to resonate your messages with them and to get them to explore what you have to offer.

[00:09:10] You really do want to be strategic in understanding how your customers would search for you online. What search terms your customers will use when describing or looking for your product or service, and that should be absolutely essential part of your marketing messages as well as your campaigns.

[00:09:33] The fourth question is where are your customers most likely to search for your product or service?

[00:09:39] Your marketing efforts absolutely should align with your customers’ behavior. You show up where they are, not where you would like them to be. You want to determine where your target customers will most likely search for your product or service and will be the most receptive to your marketing campaigns.  If you want to increase your ability to connect with your target audiences and customer base, you absolutely should pay attention to where your customers are most likely to actually search for your product or service  and will be most receptive to receiving information regarding your product and service. That’s where you should spend your efforts with respect to marketing.

[00:10:27] For example, if you’re a B2B, business-to-business, and the majority of your products and services are geared toward other business owners or companies, LinkedIn provides a really good opportunity for you to  connect with decision makers in various industries who might be interested in your products and services. LinkedIn is a professional network that is a great place for you to invest some effort and time building relationships, doing research about the industry, joining industry groups.

[00:11:04] There are a lot of different ways that you can engage and start to build relationships and build your visibility within your particular industry segment. If you’re more of a business-to-consumer or B2C business. Then, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, those are awesome locations for you to directly engage with a more consumer-based audience. Wherever, your audience is most likely to show up and be receptive is where you want to be. 

[00:11:40] And the fifth and final question to ask. If you’re a prospective or current customer isn’t ready to purchase your product or service, what is the next action you’d like them to take in your marketing funnel? 

[00:11:52] When your prospective customers or clients are not yet ready to purchase, offer opportunities for them to engage with your brand by signing up for your communications, connecting with you on social media or other actions to discover your products and services.   Ultimately you want to begin a relationship with them so that they become more familiar with your offerings and your brand. They’re going to be more inclined to consider you when they are ready to make the purchase.

[00:12:23] It’s really imperative that you have the ability to directly communicate with them. So, finding ways to gather their email addresses, to provide some education or information that is helpful to them. Things that will keep your brand top of mind and help them begin to develop that relationship with you is critically important.

[00:13:18] If you use these five insanely simple questions to guide your marketing efforts, remembering that you’re going to answer these questions from your perspective or current clients perspective, not how you think they should answer the questions, you will absolutely increase your success and create opportunities to secure more leads and more importantly sales. 

[00:13:43] Remember your brand also is a valuable asset, no matter how large or small your company. Proactively and consistently managing your company’s brand. Provides unmatched opportunities to improve your marketing results. Increase your market share. Attract purchase ready customers. And retain your top customers. It is vital to the long-term profitability of your small business.

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