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3 Reasons Why Your Marketing Strategy Sucks

3 Reasons Why Your Marketing Strategy Sucks
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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 July 27, 2021

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

Put the Pro in Professional

After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

2. Dress the Part

While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

3. Stage Your Workspace

Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

5. Arrive on Time

In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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6. Turn on Your Video

Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

Attend to the Pesky Details

8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

Talking Has a Time and a Place

11. Chat Appropriately

Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

Manage Yourself

14. Minimize Distractions

While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

15. Save Snacking for Later

Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

Final Thoughts

Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

Reference

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