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3 Reasons Why Your Marketing Strategy Sucks

3 Reasons Why Your Marketing Strategy Sucks

Everyone is business knows that customers are the lifeblood of any business. In my opinion it is the most important thing that determines success more than anything else. If you can’t get new customers each month then you won’t build a successful business.

Simple.

The key to getting new customers each month lies in your marketing strategy. If you don’t have a solid marketing strategy outlined that details how you are going to get new customers each month then you are not going to build a successful business. You may already be in a position where you’re marketing but are not having the success you want from your efforts. This is an incredibly frustrating feeling.

However, you can create an effective marketing strategy easily and I will show you 3 key components for a marketing strategy that doesn’t suck and actually brings in more customers to your business.

Here we go.

No Differentiation

If you don’t actively differentiate your business then you will end up becoming a commodity in your marketplace. You need to find out what it is that separates your business from every other business in your marketplace. You need to give customers a REASON to pick you and then focus all of your branding around this differentiation.

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When you do this you avoid becoming a commodity. If you don’t actively make yourself different then people will have no reason to pick you and you will end up becoming a commodity, which leads to numerous problems in itself. The easiest way to answer this question of differentiation is to ask yourself.

“Why should a customer pick me over every other business.”

Essentially, this is your USP and it’s a statement that positions you in the marketplace by answering that question. In my own field I am in a very competitive market so I focus my copywriting services on how I help businesses get more leads and sales by writing personality filled words rather than boring, dry copy.

This is an example only.

There are plenty of ways you can focus on how your business is different and then nail down on it.

You Chase Customers Rather Than Have Them Come To You

This is a big one I struggled with when I first started my own business and I’m sure it’s when many other business owners can relate to. Chasing customers almost seems like the default method for getting new customers but it’s really the worst strategy you can use. It’s very time-consuming and in many cases it doesn’t reap any rewards or very little reward from all of your efforts and time spent.

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What really changed my approach was reading a book by Dan Kennedy called NO BS Sales Success. There was one chapter in it in particular that changed everything for me. He talks about positioning your business rather than prospecting so that customers come chasing you rather than the other way round. When you think about it, prospecting is such an archaic strategy for getting clients.

So instead of chasing customers what you should do is think about how you can actively position your business so that customers see you as the best option to help them solve their problems and then contact you.

There are a few key positioning strategies you can use:

  • Direct mail
  • Public speaking
  • Classified ads
  • Writing – guest posting or for print publications, magazines, newspaper columns, etc
  • Webinars
  • PPC ads
  • Publicity

There are many ways you can do this but these are some of the most common and effective.

Rather than focus your marketing on prospecting strategies, focus them on positioning strategies to get more customers and you’ll start seeing a greater reward for your efforts. A great by-product of this is that you end up being able to charge more money for your services and in many cases, the positioning you have done will mean that there will be very little price resistance.

When someone contacts you then they demonstrate commitment and compliance. These are both powerful psychological forces that shouldn’t be underestimated.

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Not Making The Most Of Your Time For Marketing

Once you actually create the marketing strategy you need to implement it and this is another area where people go wrong. Many business owners don’t think of themselves as business owners, they just want to do what it is they are exceptional at and that’s it. Not making marketing and advertising a PRIORITY is a seriously big mistake. One that will cost you big time in the long term. Bottom line, every single day you need to make time for marketing.

A little strategy I like to do is make the first 1-2 hours of my day solely for marketing activities before I do any client work. So it could be writing a guest post for an hour. It could be creating a Facebook PPC ad campaign. It could be carrying out some research for a direct mail campaign. Spending 30 minutes calling event organizers to see if you can speak at their event.

See what I mean?

If you don’t make the most of your time each day for marketing and make this area of your business a priority then you’ll never succeed in business. Marketing is the most important thing you need to be doing each day in your business. Each day you need to be actively doing something that aims to bring more customers to your business.

Make sure you track your marketing activities as well because then you can hold yourself accountable and also see what strategies are working more effectively than others.

Conclusion

Marketing is the most important aspect of running and building your own business in my opinion.

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Your marketing strategy is what will get customers coming to you and if your marketing strategy currently sucks then you need to look at the 3 tips above and implement them in your own marketing ASAP. Without it, you’ll never get the customers you need to make your business thrive and provide yourself with the kind of lifestyle you envisaged when you started your own business.

As a quick recap these are the three things you need to look at if your current marketing strategy sucks:

1. Lack of differentiation

2. Not attracting customers

3. Not making marketing each day a priority

I hope that these three things I have mentioned will help you improve your overall marketing strategy.

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Published on September 18, 2018

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

Have there been instances when you noted a drop in your team’s productivity or observed a behavioral change in someone who used to be an excellent performer?

Before you blame the team for not being motivated enough or worse still, choose to ignore these warning signs, look inwards and ask yourself if YOU are doing enough to keep your team motivated in the first place.

Motivating employees is extremely crucial. As the leader of the pack, it is your responsibility to ensure each and every member of your team feels valued, driven and motivated.

After all, you cannot expect a bunch of disengaged and demotivated people to deliver results and grow your business, can you?

Here are 17 surefire tactics for motivating your employees and building a productive team:

1. Show your appreciation

In the whole race to achieve external business goals, leaders often forget to value their most important assets — their employees.

The least you can do to boost performance and morale is to appreciate your employees, recognize their efforts and give them credit when it is due.

Whether it’s sending a personalized note, recognizing achievements publicly during team huddles or even rewarding top performers at the end of every month, you will be surprised to see how these small acts of appreciation can go a long way.

2. Communicate effectively

Effective communication can do wonders in motivating employees. Who is a strong communicator? Someone who knows what they are talking about and are able to convey their message accurately.

Communication is a lot more than just language and talking. Factors such as eye contact, active listening, hand gestures and postures also say a lot about a person’s communication skills.

3. Be open to dialogue

Gone are the days when leading through fear and putting on the tough, distant leader act would work.

New age leadership is all about instilling trust by being accessible and encouraging discussions. Your team needs to feel comfortable speaking to you and you need to set the tone for such a camaraderie.

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In spite of having a busy schedule, you can still show you care through simple, effective acts.

For instance, having an open door policy, showing genuine interest while interacting with your employees or even greeting your team members helps breaking barriers and projects you as an accessible leader.

4. Provide constructive criticism

Giving negative feedback is always tricky — you don’t want to hurt feelings nor do you want the feedback to be taken lightly.

So, what do you do? The idea is to offer criticism such that it inspires change and delivers results.

Firstly, take criticism behind closed doors because nothing breaks self esteem the way calling out employees in public does.

Have a one-on-one discussion with the concerned person and make your feedback very specific. Be clear about your expectations and offer guidance on how they can improve.

Most importantly, give them the chance to explain their side of the story too instead of jumping to conclusions.

5. Conduct one-on-ones

Yes, you conduct weekly meetings with the team but how well do you know them on a personal level?

While you may think this isn’t an important practice to follow, it is one of the best ways to engage with your employees and identify what drives them.

Conduct a one-one-one session every month and use it to understand how your employees are doing and if they are facing any roadblocks.

More than reviewing performances, consider this as a relationship building tool to ensure you are aligned with your team and are working towards a shared, common goal.

6. Build training programs

In this ever-changing business landscape, it is important to ensure your employees are updated with the latest, relevant skills that can help boost productivity and performance.

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From imparting technical and soft skills to offering mentoring programs – investing in training and development significantly helps in motivating employees and keeps the learning going.

While conducting training programs, remember to keep them engaging and interactive. They need to ultimately drive value and reinforce learnings.

7. Offer growth opportunities

Every employee envisions a different career path for themselves and demotivation strikes the day they feel they have reached stagnation. As a leader, you need to first be aligned with their goals and offer ample growth opportunities that constantly keeps them engaged and motivated.

Growth opportunities go beyond just financial growth. While money is a huge driving factor, what makes most people tick is making progress in the company and going up the career ladder.

Being faced with new challenges and responsibilities lets them push the envelope and broaden their knowledge and skills.

8. Reward them

Go beyond verbal recognition and reward employees for their notable work. You can start an incentive program and reward top performers. This ensures increased productivity and brings out the best in them.

If you don’t have enough budgets for that, you can also reward top performers with movie tickets, a paid vacation or something as simple as giving them the option to work from home.

Rewarding employees promotes healthy competition and motivates them while meeting business goals.

9. Encourage team outings

Employee motivation also stems from how connected the team is. Invest time in team building because a team that works collaboratively is likely to deliver better results.

From bowling nights to hosting team dinners – team outings are a great way to get to know each other and bond. Assign someone from your team to be in charge of organizing these monthly outings and make sure you join them too!

10. Involve them

Involve your employees in decision making because when they are involved, they feel more valued and part of a larger cause.

Seek your team’s opinion and encourage healthy debates within the team. This boosts employee morale and challenges them to work harder as they know they are in a position to make an impact and will be taken seriously.

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11. Set meaningful goals

In the beginning of the financial year, make sure you sit down with each employee to set meaningful and realistic goals. The goal-setting conversation is an extremely crucial one and needs to be a two-way street.

Whether your employee feels burdened or doesn’t feel inspired enough by the assigned goals – this is the time to come to a consensus and assign goals derived from business objectives that foster individual development while keeping in mind their strengths and weaknesses.

12. Empower them

You cannot expect employees to be motivated for long if you micro manage the team and do all the talking.

Trust your employees and empower them to take decisions. Mistakes will happen but that is the only way they will learn.

Be open to discussions, delegate effectively, set your expectations and give your team the freedom to do it their way.

13. Deal with conflict

A conducive work environment is one wherein there is open communication and trust, but every once in a while, you do encounter people in the team who indulge in office politics and spread negativity.

How much ever fulfilled an employee feels with their work, gossiping co-workers are bound to ruin it for them. Workplace gossip if not tackled hampers productivity and soils working relations.

As a responsible leader, you need to maintain a conducive work environment and act as a mediator in such cases. Don’t be the leader who is locked up in his/her cabin and is unaware of what is brewing within the team.

14. Implement a flexible work culture

Flexible work cultures are a growing trend and are here to stay.

Whether it is offering flexible working hours or allowing employees to work from home once in a month – a flexible work culture promotes work-life balance and aids in employee satisfaction.

It shows that the management is sensitive to employees’ schedules and is thereby highly appreciated.

15. Host engaging activities

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and we cannot agree more! So, why not devote one day of the week to employee engagement activities?

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From hosting baking competitions to introducing wellness programs in the office – let your team have some fun beyond work. This keeps the environment engaging, light-hearted and interesting, giving them all the more reason to look forward to coming to work.

16. Maintain a positive work space

Your employees spend more than half their day at work and in order to keep them energized and motivated, it is important to maintain a positive and inspiring work space.

Have a recreation center where employees can unwind after a hard day’s work, offer free snacks and beverages and invest in an open office design that promotes socializing and conversations.

These are simple yet effective ways to create a space your employees will love coming to.

17. Avoid discrimination

Any kind of discrimination, be it due to age, gender, religion or race hugely impacts employee motivation and performance.

In order to avoid such cases, you must lay down rules against discrimination and take strict action against accused employees. Lead by example and make sure no one in the team is a victim of bias and discrimination.

The bottom line

Don’t underestimate the power of motivating employees. Understand that the more engaged and motivated they are, the better their performance will be.

It is also a good idea to send out a survey and get feedback from your employees on the company culture, work environment and their motivation levels.

This will help you be more aligned with their expectations and further improve your efforts in building a stronger, engaged team.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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