Spring ahead with aligned marketing

New growthThis winter has been very mild when it comes to weather, yet it has been tough for many businesses in Calgary. People have been in a holding pattern – waiting either for the other shoe to drop or something to change. There has been a reluctance to commit to doing things and moving ahead. Quite understandable, given the stories that we hear every day from either people we know or from media. In the three years that I have been in Calgary, it hasn’t been as quiet here in January-February before.

Yet this month when the spring is starting, many have realized that it is not possible to stay in a holding pattern for long. It is time to move ahead and make plans. Start taking actions based on what is going on right now. No matter what business is moving ahead and people need to find a way to cope with a winter that is too warm and with a business climate that is too frosty.

What can you do in spite of the uncertainties that are in the air right now?

  • Get clear on what is the situation you and your clients are in. Who of your clients will continue working with you and who will need to drop out in order to take care of their business? What is the impact on your business?
  • Who are the potential clients out there right now who need your services and who are ready to start working with you? Revisit your Ideal Client profile and see if anything needs to be tweaked.
  • Create your aligned marketing lead generation pipeline that helps your ideal Clients find you and get clear on what are the benefits of working with you.

If you’d like some help with getting your creative juices flowing sign up for my workshop on April 20th on Lead generation with Aligned Marketing. You will get clear what is your Natural Marketing Style, what does your marketing foundation look like and will understand what it takes to put together a lead generation pipeline.

Fall back to business!

Fall back to businessFall is here and just like children are all back at school, adults are getting serious about their business again. The air changes to crisper and days become shorter, business activities resume with full energy after the Labour Day weekend. People are reconnecting and going back to their usual meetings and routines. I also notice the obvious wide-eyed look of ’I know I had a reason to come, but I am not really sure what it was’. People are chatting to friendly faces and then forget to follow up. It is all good – summer has relaxed us to the point that we need to rebuild our routine again to get more done. A question might arise where do I start again?

Here are some quick tips to reconnect and be as effective as before: Read More

Planning when life happens

DSC00175You have probably heard it more than once or maybe said it yourself – plans are just for paper – life happens. I am a believer in planning and also that life definitely happens while you are making plans. I have two examples for you today.

One is that of my client, who had taken over a business a few years ago and got stuck with the way things were run. Business started running her and she ended in a state of overwhelm while trying to balance her business and personal life. Read More

Marketing as a journey

Journey is the rewardMost of us want things to work, sooner rather than later. When you start a new venture – like your own business, you want to get results and start doing the things that motivated you to embark on that journey. Even if you have had lots of practice starting and running your own companies, there still will be some hiccups that make you go back to square one and re-plan or rethink what you are doing. Maybe you realize that you need to learn to do something that seemed so easy when somebody else was doing it. Like marketing that everybody seems to know something about until they need to do it themselves. Read More

Marketing message key points

Top 7 marketing mistakesYou might have noticed how some of the marketing messages that are used when describing a product or a service, make you go Yes! – I get it and I want to explore further. Whereas the others make you go – I probably need it, but if they sell it this way, I will never get it from them?

That is the power of the choice of words that you use when marketing your business. Words can build trust and interest in your product and they can also destroy it. Choose your marketing message carefully and attracting clients becomes fun and easy.

What are the key points to craft a great marketing message? Read More

What is a Marketing pipeline

dreamstime_xl_18070406Some of the challenges that my clients come to me with are setting up their marketing in a way that helps them bring a steady flow of their ideal clients to their business. Very often people have tried different things and the results are not consistent or there is no response.

That is where an understanding of what a marketing pipeline is can help tremendously. A robust description would be that a marketing pipeline is a set of consecutive actions helping a potential client find out more about the product or service that you are offering. A good pipeline is easy, feels natural to you and brings in your ideal clients on a regular basis. The purpose of a marketing pipeline is to help a potential client get clear on whether they will benefit from the product or service that you provide at this point in time.

You could also say that a purpose of a marketing pipeline is to generate leads or sell. Yes, that is what it ends up doing for you, but the way you set one up is not to push a product or service towards someone who does not see the need or benefit of it at this point. Read More

Confidence to jump

2015-05-04 11.21.02I witnessed something amazing the other day – four goslings hatched to the couple of Canada geese on our balcony on the 14th floor. The cute little goslings were piping and scuttling on the safety of the balcony edge (about a meter wide with bushes and grass) until it was time for them to take off and head towards the river.

How do they get down 14 floors without being able to fly, I had wondered previously? This wasn’t the first year we’d seen goslings appear one day and disappear the other. Now I got to see it in person. The mother goose who had been close to the goslings every minute previously, took off and landed below at the base of the building. The goslings got really anxious and started scuttling around and calling for the mother to come back. The father was looking at them from a distance and then also took off. Now the goslings went and peeped over the balcony edge and looked down – it was quite scary. They turned around and started running around on their little legs on the balcony looking for another way. Until they realized that the only way to get to their mom and dad would be to have the confidence to jump. The first one took off, the second shortly after, the third was having a bit of a counsel with the fourth, but off it went too. And the last one, really could not make himself jump off after the siblings. Read More

Marketing mediums

Juicy steakWhat marketing mediums are out there? I was asked that question at one of my speaking events. I liked the choice of words – marketing mediums and not advertising mediums. Marketing medium has a much wider meaning than advertising medium – usually advertising mediums can be bought for money and they are institutionalized – you buy space or time from some entity. Some of the examples of marketing mediums are: referrals, your own website, testimonials, article in a newspaper, TV ad, radio talk show, emails, mobile ads and messages, networking and speaking events, the list goes on!

The good thing is that lots of the marketing mediums are for free or like referrals – cannot be bought. Which is why the most trusted marketing medium is ‘Recommendations from people I know’ (Nielsen study, 2013)

When choosing the marketing medium that you want to use in your business, you need to think of the following factors: what comes naturally to you, who are your ideal clients and where they are, what is your message and which medium will convey it the best and how much money are you willing to spend.  Read More

Strengths and weaknesses

Strengths and weaknessesQuite often I have conversations with different business owners who are saying that they need to overcome their weaknesses and then they are able to market themselves better. I usually respond that let’s start with working with your strengths in marketing first. My firm belief is that everyone can be marketing themselves with good results if the will and the need is there.

Very often we have a belief about our strengths and weaknesses. Some of those beliefs have come to us over our lifetime of peers, bosses and parents. Others are even more general than that – I am good with math that means I must be crap at marketing. Or I am an IT person, what do I know about marketing? We might have failed at something once and then taken this as a sign that we are not good at that. Read More

Marketing – manipulation or client attraction?

Client attractionReading different articles and talking to people, I have come across quite often the paradigm that marketing equals manipulation. Along the lines of – if you want to get people to buy your products or services you have to persuade them. I have never felt comfortable with that thought – for me marketing is a vehicle of client attraction not persuasion.

Actually, I see a lot of problems with thinking that you need to manipulate people to buy your products – for me it says that your products or services are not valuable. If this is the case – why have them at all, why not change them and add value? Also why would manipulation be somehow an industry standard? The thought pattern being that if you want to be good at marketing you need to learn to lie or at least – ’dress up the truth’. Yet, these must be the thoughts that lots of people have about marketing. Read More