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What Do Entrepreneurs, Pokémon Go, and Your Target Market Have in Common?

Pokémon Go

Just one or two days into all the Pokémon Go hoopla, and I was asking when the novelty would wear off because I was tired of hearing about it. I’ll be honest that it doesn’t interest me at all, even though I think I’ve finally figured out what it’s all about.

However, scrolling through my Facebook news feed, a video caught my attention. It was posted by NowThis and the caption was, “This Uber driver is taking riders on Pokémon Go expeditions.”

(Looking into it further, I found that the caption was wrong and he is not an Uber driver. I don’t know the specific details or legalities of his business.)

Pokémon Go was released and everybody went crazy over it. Tom Larkin saw a business opportunity to help people catch Pokémon. He and his guide take them to Pokémon Hotspots for $10/hour. I’m sure he could easily charge more and he probably should be, considering gas, upkeep, and his time. He said within an hour his inbox was full of requests to take people to find certain types of Pokémon and to go to Poké stops to get Poké balls.

This is genius. This is entrepreneurship and total marketing genius!

He saw the new obsession, and he saw the desire for people to travel to catch Pokémon and get Poké balls. He was open to creative ideas, thinking outside of the box. They had a need; he had a solution for that need.

Of course, he’s not the only one. Ads are popping up on Craigslist, offering Pokémon chauffeur services to dedicated players. According to Polygon.com, “One driver says they’ll pick up drivers at a requested location and drive them around the city… This particular driver is charging $30 for the first hour and $20 for every hour after that. They will not, however, do anything illegal like stop in the middle of the highway, users must wear seat belts, and they’re not speeding.”

They also state, “One driver is offering free Wi-Fi so players don’t have to burn through their data plan while hunting Pokémon. They tout themselves as an experienced delivery driver and Pokémon trainer who knows all of the best local locations and can take players to gyms they didn’t even know existed. This driver is also charging $30 an hour…”

Obviously it’s much safer to hire a chauffeur than for them to drive themselves around, causing an accident while trying to capture a Pokémon (using a phone while driving is illegal in most places), but are these Pokémon fans foolish to pay money to have someone drive them around so they can catch Pokémon and get Poké balls for a game? Well, probably, but that’s not really for us to decide. People will find money for things that they want and for things that motivate them, and it’s up to them how they decide to spend that money.

These drivers saw an opportunity arise and quickly took action. They are very clear on who their target market is, what their needs are, what solution (service) they can provide to them for that need, they knew where to find them, and they clearly marketed their services to them.

Apparently, we can learn something useful from this Pokémon Go craze after all, as well as gain inspiration.

As a coach, how can you be creative and think outside the box in your business? Are you clear on your target market, what their needs and pain points are, and how you help them or fill that need?

Do you consistently relay that clarity to your target market in your marketing – your elevator pitch, your website, your blog posts, your social media profiles/pages AND activity, your videos, your free gifts or lead magnets, your emails and newsletters, your landing pages, your sales pages, and your teleseminars and webinars?

Be clear. Be consistent with your messaging and marketing activities. Think outside the box. Look for new opportunities. Be clear. Be consistent.

How to Market Your Business Online to Find More Clients – Pt. 3: Social Media

Social Media Virtual Assistant

In part 3 of How to Market Your Business Online to Find More Clients, we’re going to cover social media.

These are some older stats, so you can be sure that the numbers have increased significantly since then.

In 2012, Yola reported that 69% of consumers were more likely to use a local business if it has information available on a social media site. I know this is true for me. I check out most businesses online before I visit them. If they don’t have an active social media account, and especially if they don’t have one at all, I may feel like they aren’t up with the times and don’t care about their customers. This may be a really unfair judgement, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who has had those thoughts cross their minds.

In fact, Small Business Can said that 59% of social media users think companies who use or are active in social media seem to be more approachable.

The truth is, we’re not only living in an online world, we’re living in a social media world, and according to Vocus, 85% of customers expect businesses to be active in social media.

In 2011, it was reported on Hubspot that 41% of B2B companies and 67% of B2C companies have acquired a customer through Facebook. I wish I had found a more up-to-date statistic to compare because I am sure those percentages are much higher now. I have acquired many clients through Facebook.

As of 2011, the number of marketers who said Facebook is “critical” or “important” to their business had increased 83% in just 2 years. (Source) That is huge – 83% in just 2 years!

In 2012, State of Inbound Marketing said that 80% of US social network users prefer to connect to brands through Facebook. This is true for me, but I spend a lot of time on Facebook.

However, InboundWriter.com found that LinkedIn generates more leads for B2B companies than Facebook, Twitter or blogs individually. Yet only 47% of B2B marketers say they are actively using LinkedIn vs. 90% on Facebook.

What social media platforms you focus on for your business really depends on who your target market is and where they hang out. You really need to know this to make sure you’re spending time and money in the right places. You can’t just go by what works for somebody else or some other business. You might love Facebook or Twitter, but if your target market isn’t spending time there, you’re not going to reach those people and see results from your efforts.

For my business, I find I get the best results from Facebook and LinkedIn. Depending on your business, you might get the best results from Twitter or Pinterest.

You need to optimize your social media accounts to reach and connect with your ideal clients, offer value (ex. tips, blog posts that link back to your blog, etc.), build the ‘know, like trust factor’, and be social with them so they consider you a friend and trusted resource.

Not only can you create a trusted relationship with potential clients and customers through social media, but SEO.com revealed that 70% of small businesses are using social media to improve their search engine optimization.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with that term, this means how easily you are found in the search results when somebody Googles (or searches) for any terms that are related to your business. If somebody is specifically looking for a product you sell, if they have a question about a problem that you can solve, if they want to learn about something you teach, or even if they are searching specifically for your business but they don’t know your website, you want those people to be able to find your website easily, without having to scroll though pages of search results.

How can social media help you rank higher or more often?

  • Your Facebook page, your Twitter profile, your LinkedIn profile, your Pinterest account, your YouTube account, etc. are all searchable, both on the actual social media sites and through the search engines. Your accounts will register in the search engines, which should also link back to your website.
  • If you’re sharing blog posts and videos that link back to your website, you are specifically sending people back to your website and creating more of those quality links. If people share your social media posts containing these blog posts and videos, you will reach more people and send more people back to your website. This content may also show up in the search engines.
  • If you have social media share buttons available on your website’s blog posts, people have the opportunity to share what they like on their favorite social media sites. This gives you more exposure, but it also tells search engines such as Google that you have quality content that people want to see.

Don’t forget that you can also use social media to grow your email list! You can promote your free gift and events to your audience both for free and through paid advertising that is targeted to the exact people you want to reach. This means that you have increased access to these people and you can contact them directly by email, as you continue to educate them and invite them to work with you or take action on your offers.

Conclusion

In conclusion, find out what social media sites your target market is spending the most time on. Those social networks are where you may want to consider focusing most of your efforts on. Share quality content that educates and links back to your website, make sure your social media networks are linked to your website, make sure your blog posts have social media share buttons so your readers can easily share with their friends, and use social media to strategically grow your email list.

If you hate social media, you don’t understand it, or you just don’t have time to be bothered with it, you really need to consider hiring a social media manager or virtual assistant to get you set up, create the content for you, and help create that ‘Know, Like, Trust Factor’ on your behalf. In this age of social media, if you continue to ignore your target market on social media, you may be losing out on significant business growth and profit, while your target market is drawn to your competitors who are reaching out to them, communicating with them, educating them, and making them feel special.

If you need help getting set up on social media, you would like to create a consistent social media presence, and you would like help to grow your email list, CLICK HERE to set up a Complimentary 30-Minute Discovery Session with me and we’ll come up with a plan for your social media success.

Is Your Marketing Attracting More Clients to Your Coaching Business?

This is part two of my recap from Pat Mussieux‘s Wealth Makers Toronto 2014 event, focusing this time on the Marketing section. This information is compiled from my notes and from some points stated in the Wealth Makers Workbook.

networking-and-marketing

As a virtual assistant, improving my marketing interests me not only for my own business, but also because I handle many online marketing activities for my clients. However, there are some things I just cannot do for you. You have to be clear on your message and your target market, you have to do the networking yourself, and you should do the actual follow-up yourself.

You know how important marketing is to your business. If you don’t have any clients, you don’t have any cash transactions. “If you don’t have any cash transactions, you have no business.” There are many aspects to marketing, including clarifying your message, utilizing social media, networking, and following up. 

Who do you want to help and why do you want to help them?

A confused mind will not buy. Are you a parenting coach or a relationship coach? Are you a career coach or a life coach? Pick one. Are you a Walmart or a Nordstrom? One is not better than the other, it’s just that the demographics are totally different and you need to know who you are marketing to.

If you’re having trouble with this, work with 100 people and then zero down on the main thing you are helping them with. Then you can create your marketing message and go get those people.

What motivates people to buy?

There are four main things people want, and you need to take these into consideration when deciding what your potential clients want and what you are going to help them with:

  1. More time
  2. More money
  3. Improved health
  4. Better relationships

What is the cost of them staying stuck? The external reasons might be loss of money, poor health, lack of time, lack of fun, not being able to take vacations or act on other opportunities. Internal reasons may be embarrassment, or feeling lonely, depleted, and unsatisfied. Be detached from those who don’t want to become unstuck. They need to make a decision, yes or no, whether or not they want your help.

Qualities of an ideal client

  • They are able and willing to pay what you’re worth
  • They have problems and challenges you love solving and working with
  • They know you can help them and are motivated
  • You actually like them and you wouldn’t mind if they were your next door neighbor.
  • They respect your time, skills, staff and space.

Social Media

I love this quote: “If you are not proactive enough to make sure that your business has an amazing online presence, then you are taking your business in the wrong direction.” – Ali Salman

Here are just a few of the social media stats and tips mentioned at the event or taken from the Wealth Makers workbook:

  • 91% of US consumers who use social media to search for local businesses do so with Facebook. (I know I quite often do.)
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  • 95% of US consumers have a Facebook account, compared to 62% on Twitter.
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  • 30 million businesses now have a Facebook Fan Page.
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  • Use Twitter to get the attention of media and higher level people.
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  • LinkedIn is the best social networking site for lead generation. (Watch for a future article on optimizing your LinkedIn profile.)
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  • LinkedIn is ideal for those of you who want to deal business-to-business, connect with industry/topic specific groups, and develop relationships for potential speaking opportunities.
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  • YouTube has passed Facebook as the largest social media site, with more than 1 billion unique users visiting YouTube each month and over 6 billion hours of video watched each month.

Social media doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Once you know what your goals are, what your promotional schedule will look like, and how much time you want to contribute yourself, your virtual assistant (me) can step in and create a regular presence for you by creating your social media content from blog posts and promotional material, scheduling it, and managing your profiles, if you wish.

Networking

Networking is like dating. Have respect, but also expect others to have respect.

Don’t go spreading your business cards around tables and under people’s noses. It’s tacky. Have a conversation and wait for someone to offer their business card before you offer yours.

Be genuine and sincere. Don’t be pushy and don’t stalk people!

Guard your business cards and be choosy about who you give them to. Don’t collect or accept business cards when they are not a fit and you’re not interested, and don’t give someone else hope you will contact them when you won’t. Don’t give your business card to someone you are not truly interested in developing a business relationship with.

Do not automatically add people’s email addresses to your email list just because they hand you their business card! Not only do people consider it rude, but it violates anti-spam laws. If they give you explicit permission to add them, then add them. Otherwise, if you have a free gift on your website, send them an email from your direct email account and offer the gift to them, providing them with the link to opt in. Let them sign up themselves if they want to. You can also add an image of your free gift and a link to the landing page on the back of your business card to encourage people to sign up.

Which reminds me of another important point that was brought up… don’t use emails like Hotmail, AOL, Yahoo for business! It’s very unprofessional looking and people will not take you seriously as a business owner. I started out with a Gmail address and a free blog site when I started my virtual assistant business, so I really do understand. If you’re starting out and cash flow is tight, as soon as you possibly can, get your own domain name and accompanying email address. It’s really important for your overall business image.

The Follow-up

Put the follow-up appointment(s) in your calendar before you go to the event, so you have that time blocked off. The follow-up is where many of us leave the money on the table. Apparently only 10% of people typically do any follow-up at all. Wow.

Some ways that you can follow-up:

  • Phone call
  • Email
  • Send-Out-Cards
  • Send a personal note and include an article of interest

These are just a few of the points that were covered on the marketing day. I could have added so much more, but I didn’t want to turn this into a plagiarized e-book! Next, I’ll be recapping the Money portion of the event. Of all of these marketing tips, what is your biggest insight or ah-ha? What got you thinking? What are you going to change or implement?

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