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Why ‘Perfectionist’ Should Not Be A Dirty Word In Business

Why ‘Perfectionist’ Should Not Be A Dirty Word In Business

Ways Your Website Should Be Perfect to Avoid Losing Sales

“I can see I’m dealing with a perfectionist here.”

This is what a client said to me the other day when I pointed out a glaring error on her website that we had just launched for her, appearing after her assistant made an update.

“Well of course!” I wanted to exclaim back, “aren’t you with your business?”

Are you a perfectionist when it comes to your business? You should be!Click To Tweet

To me, being a perfectionist is a must when it comes to business success. If you’re not super picky about how you are being perceived by others and the quality of work you produce, then your business results will more than likely suffer.

Let’s take your website as an example.

Forget what the “gurus” tell you when they say to have at least something up, that it can always be updated later… at least have an online presence even if not perfect.

I argue your website should be perfect. It needs to perfectly match your:

  1. Brand positioning
  2. Ideal clients’ needs

If it isn’t perfect in these two areas, then you are losing sales.

Keep reading to find out what I mean by that and then ask yourself what improvements you need to make to help increase your website conversions.

Here’s 2 areas where your website needs to be perfect in order to avoid losing sales:

1.   Brand Positioning

Your brand is how you are perceived by those that are in contact with you on a daily basis, whether directly or indirectly. It’s the essence of who you are and what you stand for.

On your website, the brand positioning comes through in its look and feel (design) as well as in the text and imagery (content) throughout the site.

When a prospective client comes to your site, what is their first impression? What do they immediately know about you, your business and your products or services?

Are they getting an immediate sense you are a professional they can trust with their hard-earned money?

Not if your brand positioning is not done correctly.

Here’s a couple of examples:

  • If the design of your site looks home-made or a standard/typical/cheap WordPress theme, the statement you are making to your prospective client is something like, “I’m too cheap (or broke) to invest properly in a nice website.”
     
    And what does that prospective client think? “This person is either just starting out or is not really serious about their business.” And when that happens, the lower quality presentation tells them your prices should be low.
     
    Now you might be thinking this is a good thing where you’re appearing affordable, but think again! Unless you are purposely targeting the “cheap” crowd, you don’t want to be wasting your time on those that either can’t afford what you have to offer or want to barter a better deal because they don’t value what you provide.
  • If your website has spelling / grammar errors, is poorly written, has broken hyperlinks or images that are either the wrong size or unsuitable, the message your prospective client is going to have is, “This person is clearly not very careful about their work. “ And you’ve lost them. End of story.
     
    The same applies to my initial client example. Even when you have gone through the time and expense of having a professionally designed and built website, ensure that it continues to look professional once you or your team starts going in and making updates. If things are added that are not congruent with your brand, it will reflect negatively with your ideal client when they come to visit your site.

Bottom line: If your website is falling short of perfection in relaying your brand positioning, it’s time to make a proper investment in it and have one professionally designed and built for you.

You will be amazed at how quickly new prospective clients will start to contact you once they trust you are a committed professional to your craft. And the only way they are going to get this assumption about you is through how your website is presented to them.

2.   Ideal Clients’ Needs

Another area that needs careful consideration, especially when it comes to your website, is ensuring it’s appealing to the right people.

Do you know who your ideal client is?  Do you even know what makes up an ideal client?

If not, now is the time to find out!

If the design, text and imagery on your website don’t match the expectations of your ideal target market, then you are missing the mark, and they are flocking over to your competitor’s websites. Guaranteed.

Identifying the qualities that make up your ideal target market should be one of the very first things you do when coming up with your business and marketing plan:

  • Who do you want to best work with?
  • What is their gender? Age? Income bracket?
  • Where are they geographically located?
  • What industry are they typically in?
  • What are they passionate about?

This is an example of areas that need to be worked out so you know how to appeal to the right people on your website. You need to speak their language and identify with them through your website presentation.

And once you go through this process, then you need to REALLY understand DEEPLY what their pain points are. What problem is your product or service going to solve for them? What struggles are they going through to help them understand you get them?

If your ideal client was a 20-something millennial that loves the outdoors and is currently attending college and you are selling the perfect school app that would save them a tonne of time and effort, then you want to make sure your website is immediately telling them you have the perfect solution for their needs.

If you are a 40-something tech geek that hasn’t seen past your computer monitor in months and the website you built appeals very much to you, then the odds are really good you are missing your target by a mile. I am watching a study of ServerMania operating system windows or linux deciding which one is better.

Bottom line: Your website needs to appeal to  your ideal target market, not you! The design, the imagery, and the text all needs to speak the same language as they and address the specific problems they are experiencing.

Now I could probably list several other areas where I’d insist on perfection when it comes to your business, but we’ll save that for another article.

For now, take a look at your website and ask yourself, is it perfectly reflecting you, your business, and your products or services? Is it perfectly appealing to your ideal client and market? Is it error free so you are perfectly positioned as a professional in your industry?

If not, then let’s talk and see how things can be adjusted to get your website appealing to the right people so your business can grow to where you want it to.

Have you been accused of being a perfectionist in your business? If so, good for you! Don’t be insulted if someone thinks you are striving for perfection in what you do.

However, if that perfectionism is preventing you from getting anything done, that’s not good either! I’m talking about having pride of ownership in your business so you are perfectly positioned in front of your ideal target market, not allowing perfectionism to prevent you from taking the next step forward.

Share below when a client has told you about your perfectionism, it’s time for you to brag about it instead of thinking it’s a dirty word!

To your success,

About the Author, Susan Friesen

Susan Friesen offering 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and download your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Why Speaking Engagements Don’t Have to Be Nail-Biting

Why Speaking Engagements Don’t Have to Be Nail-Biting

So, you’ve finally launched your website. (check)
You’ve got a decent social media campaign going – you figure. (check)
You’ve got business coming in. (check?)

And now you’re ready for the next big thing: THE STAGE.

You know you need to add “speaking engagements” to your annual marketing calendar and you’re not sure where to start. Yes, nail-biting, isn’t it?

Well, if you picture yourself on-stage “a la Oprah” and your knees start shaking, not to fear…. It doesn’t have to start that way. In fact, I can guarantee you it didn’t start that way for Oprah either.

Speaking engagements can simply mean this: you speak one-to-many vs. one-to-one. What you may say to one person, you now say to more than one at the same time.

You don’t even have to stand up.

In fact, I did a speaking engagement recently where I got to sit down the whole time. It was a very casual presentation to a group of about a dozen female entrepreneurs in a pub. It was casual, it was fun, it definitely wasn’t intimidating, but it definitely was a speaking engagement.

I had to write an intro about myself, they promoted me to their membership, and I spoke in front of people with my prepared text. That was a speaking engagement.

So, if you are just starting out in your business and you do not yet have a line outside your door of people clamouring to hear you speak.

Here’s a “how-to-guide” to launching that line-up and securing that first speaking engagement:

  1. Write your signature talk

    Honestly, this is probably the hardest part. What are you going to say? I would recommend developing a relatively short, 20 – 30 minute presentation where you speak about the core of your business.

    The goal? To generate interest in you and your business. I definitely don’t recommend selling from the stage at this point, your whole goal will be to generate interest in you and your business by providing value in a 20-30 minute presentation.

    You want people to walk away feeling that talk was a good use of their time and for them to consider contacting you in the future for possible work opportunities.

    At the early stages of talk-giving, you are asking your audience for important collateral – their time — in exchange for your time and knowledge. It’s important to make you worth their time.

  2. Know your target audience

    Who do you want to have hire you? Once you narrow down your target audience and your ideal customer, you can start sourcing where they hang out and what they might want to hear in a short, 20-30 minute snippet of information delivery.

    The better you understand your people, the more value you can deliver in a presentation you prepare.

  3. Identify where your target audience gathers.

    There are groups everywhere these days who gather in the name of networking, promoting their business and learning about topics related to their business or personal growth.

    Identify where these groups are and identify the best ones for you to connect with. Check out meet-ups, networking organizations in your area, and eventually conferences and gatherings where participants pay to hear a number of speakers talk.

    Aligning yourself with organizations who already have a following of your ideal customer, will provide endorsement of you and give you a leg-up before you’ve even hit the proverbial stage.

  4. Introduce yourself to the group organizer

    Arrange a coffee date or meeting with the lead of the organizations you identify. Find out what they’re all about to determine if there is a fit for you to either join the organization yourself and/or become someone they would have come speak to their regular meeting.

    Be ready with #5 (below) if they are interested.

  5. Prepare your “sell sheet” or promotional bio

    You will need this to both promote yourself to be invited to speak and as well to promote to the membership of the organization, so members are enticed to come out to hear you speak.

    It should include your photo, a brief bio about you and why you are someone with something they want to hear.

  6. Let your networks know you are speaking

    Now that you have secured your first speaking engagement, let your networks know you are speaking. You will undoubtedly get a “I didn’t know you gave presentations! Good for you! I know another group who you could really help.” And then the word-of-mouth promotional chain begins and lo and behold, speaking engagement #2 is right around the corner.

After you have gotten a taste for how your Signature Talk is received, you can tweak and amend it to ensure you reach your ideal client and serve them in a way that turns into new business for you.

And, once the requests start rolling in for you to speak, and your time becomes more valuable, you can start charging for that talk. Look out Oprah!

About the Author, Susan Elford

Kathryn Wilking

Susan Elford, PR Strategist & Leadership Coach, works with start-ups and seasoned entrepreneurs to help them get real about their strengths and celebrate them so they get more of what they want; clients, exposure and success, while living a life of balance.

Visit Susan at www.elfordcommunications.com for traditional PR support and www.susanelford.com for a look into how she works with her coaching clients.


Secrets to Creating a High Converting Website Home Page

Secrets to Creating a High Converting Website Home Page

We all know first impressions are very important. That’s why, whether you are redesigning your website or building one from scratch, the home page is undoubtedly the most important page of your website.

Your website often offers a first impression to your prospective clients; make it favourable!Click To Tweet

So how do you create a design that is eye-catching, engaging, and draws visitors to take the next step with you?

Here is what to include on a truly effective homepage.

Define Your Target Market

Before you write a single word or jump into designing a snazzy logo you need to identify your target market.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • Do you serve a certain geographic market or do you serve customers nationwide or globally?
  • What key problem do you solve for customers?
  • What age and gender are they?
  • Are they in a certain industry or profession?
  • What income bracket are they in?

Now that you have defined your target market, you can begin planning content and a design that speaks to the needs of your ideal customer.

11 Top Elements of a Highly Effective Home Page

  1. Compelling Headline

    Clearly state what you do, who you do it for, and how you help them. Keep it short and simple.

    Place this prominently near the top of your website.

  2. Welcome Video

    Visitors love video because it helps them get to know you and get a sense of what it’s like working with you.

    In the video, tell viewers your name and the results that clients get from working with you. Then introduce the challenge of why people struggle with the problem you solve.  Next share why you are successful helping people overcome that problem. Then tell visitors who you can help them now in the free offering you are sharing.

    Then call them to action to sign up for your mailing list.

  3. Free Offering

    Generate leads by featuring an opt-in where visitors can get an irresistible free offer such as a special report, audio, or video tip.

    Once someone joins your mailing list, you can send high value tips and information to prospects along with offers and calls to action.

    This helps you to earn a prospect’s business when they are ready to buy.

  4. Text Copy

    The best website copy is simple, direct, and compelling. It’s not only important to describe what you do, but also why what you do matters.

    Prospects want to know about the benefits of buying from you. Reveal why customers should buy from you and not your competition.

  5. Services or Products Highlights

    Aside from getting them into your list, the other primary goal of your website’s home page is to engage customers to dig deeper in your website and move further into your sales funnel.

    For visitors who want to learn more, add teaser text and images that link to your most popular services and product offerings to help visitors decide what they would like to do next.

  6. Social Media Icons

    If a site visitor likes your content and wants to follow you on Twitter or Facebook, they should be able to do that without having to hunt around for the icons or links.

  7. Blog Preview

    Often people want to see what information you have available for free to help with their problem. A blog helps establish your credibility as a thought leader in your industry.

    By posting topics which resonate with your market and show your knowledge, you are marketing your skills for your business, service or product too. Plus, blogs help to deepen the connection with your followers by giving them an opportunity to learn more about you.

    Having the most recent 2-3 blog articles highlighted on the home page not only helps visitors easily find your posts but also gives your website extra SEO juice.

  8. Testimonials

    Sharing words of praise builds credibility with potential customers. They want to know that your product works and creates results.

    Endorsements from satisfied customers build trust so be sure to have a testimonial feature on your home page that links to a page of them.

  9. Credibility Builders

    . Displaying the endorsement of a major media or a top national organization is a powerful reputation builder. If you have been published anywhere or have been on TV or radio, add those logos to your home page.

    For example: “featured on:”, “As seen in:” or “Member of:” located at the footer of your website can build trust and credibility.

  10. Call To Action

    Offer calls to action to visitors at every stage of their website experience. Create calls to actions to learn more about your products and services, review frequently asked questions, start a free trial, sign up, or schedule a free consultation.

  11. Contact information

    Your contact information should be visible on the site. You don’t want visitors to have to hunt for your phone number or email address if they have a question.

    If you run a shopping cart, it’s best to have a customer service phone number located in the top right corner of each page on your site. This will build trust and help with the decision-making process.

  12. Your homepage acts as the face of your company.  It welcomes visitors, builds trust, communicates value, and directs visitors to the next step.

    Hopefully these tips have been helpful to you. If your website is in need of a re-do in order to incorporate these best practices, let me know and we can discuss how your website can be redesigned for better results.

    To your success,

    About the Author, Susan Friesen

    Susan Friesen offering 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

    As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

    Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and download your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

How to Align Your Actions with Your Big Vision

How to Align Your Actions with Your Big Vision

It’s so easy to get distracted while in pursuit of an important goal

It seems that while every step ahead may get you closer to your destination, it also presents you with turning points, junctures, and new paths of “opportunity” (which are often distractions in disguise).

Therefore, if you don’t keep your goals in the forefront of your mind and take discernable steps towards them, then invariably something shiny and alluring will knock you off track.

To eliminate the ‘shiny object’ syndrome, try these 6 laser-focused strategies to keep moving in the right direction:

  1. Know what you are really passionate about

    Know who you are at your very basic core. Until you know your authentic self, it’s impossible to know what really drives you. And if you don’t know what drives you, you can’t expect to get where you want to go. If you focus on living your life in a way that fills your heart and allows you to fulfil your true purpose, then the rest will fall into place.

  2. Take time to plan before you set your goals

    If you just jump in and start writing goals without seeing the “Big Picture” or even knowing where you want to go or what you want to accomplish – you can’t seriously expect to end up where you truly want to be at the end. And if you don’t know have a plan addressing the risks and rewards, there’s not much incentive to work do the work.

  3. Write down your goals

    We all have heard this…but many of us just don’t do it. Studies show that by writing your goals down, your chances of success increase exponentially. Putting your goals in writing makes them tangible and reminds you of what you are working toward. Double-check to assure that they are “SMART” goals as described below.

The Formula for Making Sure Your Goals are S.M.A.R.T.

The Formula for Making Sure Your Goals are S.M.A.R.T.

Plan your work and then work your plan!

  1. Align your daily choices with your goals

    Every day, decide what ONE BIG thing and two smaller things you are going to accomplish that day that will help you to move toward your chosen destination. Accomplish the ONE BIG action step first.

  2. Share your goals with someone you trust

    Create accountability with those closest to you by simply sharing your goals, so when you start to veer off track, they can help you through. Give them permission to be as firm as you feel you need them to be to insure you stay on track.

  3. Set milestones of success

    Nothing is more frustrating than feeling like you are not making enough progress towards accomplishing a big goal. Set milestones of success where you can stop, celebrate and reward yourself for your accomplishments. But don’t sit for too long – get started again soon to keep up your momentum. Express gratitude for what you have accomplished!

Every day, everything that you do is either moving you toward or away from your goals.

Don’t let temptations, frustrations or the feeling of immediate gratification keep you from achieving what matters most. Keeping your goals top of mind will allow you to make the decisions that bring you the happiness and joy that will last a lifetime.

What steps will you take TOWARD your goals today?

About the Author, Katherine Hartvickson

Kathryn Wilking

Katherine Hartvickson is the founder and president of Hartvickson & Associates, Inc. dba Quantum Ascendance. She is an experienced business consultant and success coach. Since leaving the corporate world in 2009, her clients include business owners and other seriously committed professionals and entrepreneurs who want to gain the confidence and skills to break through the barriers of success and achieve their ideal life.

What separates her service from others is her experience in leading large teams and developing top performers in corporate environments and because of this, clients achieve individual & financial rewards and the recognition they earned without sacrificing their personal life. If you are interested in knowing more, she can be reached at www.QuantumAscendance.com.


5 Social Media Mistakes That Are Killing Your Business Results

5 Social Media Mistakes That Are Killing Your Business Results

The online marketing world is evolving at a rapid pace since the emergence of social media.

Nowadays, many prospective clients will judge you based on your social media presence so it’s imperative to keep a professional profile and maintain your social media presence consistently, in order to give the best impression of your business image.

Entrepreneurs Beware: Your prospective clients will judge you based on your social media presence.Click To Tweet

After reading this article, you will have a better sense of social media, lessen the confusion you have around it and learn some tips on how to gain better engagement with your efforts.

Here are the 5 mistakes I commonly see entrepreneurs and small business owners make on social media:

  1. MISTAKE #1 – Not Having a Marketing Strategy in Place

    I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage before, “if you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know you’ve arrived?”

    The same thing applies in any business marketing efforts – you must have a strategy in place so you can see if your efforts are not only working, but be able to determine WHAT you should be doing in order to meet your business goals.

    The first thing you need is to implement a marketing strategy. This strategy should include social media but not be exclusive to it. Social media should only be one spoke in your overall marketing strategy.

    Your ultimate goal is to maintain a consistent social media presence. Whether you do that 100% yourself or you hire people like eVision Media to help supplement your efforts, this is a critical component to your success.

  2. MISTAKE #2 – Not Having Consistent Branding

    Another mistake I see is entrepreneurs not fully understanding the importance of a visual brand and keeping it consistent across EVERY marketing channel, including social media.

    This means having your logo on everything plus use consistent brand colours, fonts and style in order to present the same brand message across everything you do.

    Often I see disharmony between a Facebook page cover image and a website where there is little indication the two are related.

    Brand recognition is very important and shouldn’t be ignored. 

    This also applies to inconsistent messages. Be sure to keep a clear understanding of your values and business position so you don’t post things that are contradictory to that or give an incorrect impression about you.

  3. MISTAKE #3 –  Not Fully Defining Your Ideal Client Profile

    In order to know what to post on social media, you must know who your target market is. This is imperative that you fully understand who it is that you want to appeal to in your social media efforts.

    There’s no point in going through all the work of posting if you don’t know who it is that will be the most willing and able to do business with you.

    You end up sharing posts your followers are not interested in and they will be quick to unfollow as a result.

    RELEVANCY is key. Once you are clear on who you want to attract as your ideal client, then you want to focus on sending “that person” the kind of posts that appeal to them or provide information they are seeking.

  4. MISTAKE #4 – Trying to “Push” Too Much

    SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT A FORM OF ADVERTISING

    And don’t be fooled into thinking it is. If you do, then you will most certainly fail and not get near the results you are hoping for.

    It’s important to realize that social media is not a means for you to continually “Push” yourself upon your followers by trying to sell them or get them to sign up for something.

    There has to be an exchange of value happening or you WILL lose followers.

    I see a lot of new entrepreneurs not balance their promotional posts with informational posts and it’s important to understand to GIVE VALUE FIRST and build up relationships with your followers and then the natural tendency will be for them to want to know more about you and what you have to offer.

    I believe one of the main reasons why some people do this is that they are not seeing social media as a long-term strategy.

    It’s a long term commitment where you shouldn’t expect immediate results, but in the long run, you will  reap the benefits of your efforts.

  5. MISTAKE #5 – Not Posting the Right Message at the Right Time the Right Way

    This is where a lot of valuable time and energy is wasted.  For example, say someone is wide awake at 1am and decides this is the perfect time to get caught up on their social media.

    You’ll see posts about how they can’t get to sleep or how their cats look so cute curled up together on the bed.

    Meanwhile, their target market is fast asleep, not paying any attention and more importantly, don’t care even if they did see the post!

    What is happening is many people are being too random on social media and not strategic enough where they haven’t figured out WHAT their followers want to read from them or what time of the day and week they would most likely be online to read those posts.

    So be sure to look at your social media stats regularly to find this information out and use your target market analysis to help you determine what to write about.

I witness several more mistakes but these are top of mind. Are you guilty of any?

If yes, that’s why I formed an online group membership program called Social Blast, specifically to help entrepreneurs and small business owners get clarity on what to do, when to do it and how to do it.

We meet online once a month where I share step-by-step tips and strategies to save you time and help skyrocket your results with social media marketing for your business.

Click here to learn more about Social Blast.

To your success,

About the Author, Susan Friesen

Susan Friesen offering 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and download your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Three Simple Questions For Facilitating Self Discovery

Three Simple Questions For Facilitating Self Discovery

Do you sometimes feel that you are racing from one deadline to another, with no time even to take a breath? Tell the truth: is it sometimes, often or always?

Not only does that behavior cause the days, weeks and months to zip by in a blur, but also it disallows any time for reflection, refinement and celebration.

These three simple questions can be applied to a myriad of situations:

  1. What did I do today that I am pleased with or even proud of? Be specific.
  2. Given the opportunity to do this over again, what would I do differently to be even more effective? Be specific.
  3. What is one inspired action step I am willing to commit to in order to put this intention into action? Be specific.

Always start with the positive

It appears to be a human trait to immediately leap to what’s not working well. You may notice that even when you ask yourself the first question, your mind focuses on the negative.

Tell yourself, “We’ll get to that later; right now, I’m looking at what went well.” Do this even if you feel what you did was a disaster – there’s always something you did well.

Starting with the positive feeds your self-esteem and allows you to look at any needed improvements in the right context (you usually do good work, right?). Perhaps, even more importantly, when you spend some time reflecting on what went well and why it went well, that is, what did you specifically do that resulted in a good outcome, then you can repeat it.

Do not rush through your answers to the first question; through your inquiry you may find a best practice that you want to continue or even share with your own tribe.

Transitioning to what could be even more effective

First, pay attention to the language of, “What would I do differently to be even more effective? Notice how honoring that phrase is. Again, this feeds your self-esteem and disrupts the mind’s habit of focusing on what has been done wrong, badly or poorly.

As most of you know, defensiveness gets in the way of clarity and you can often find yourself arguing for your limitations.

Once you identify your “do differently,” brainstorm a number of ideas you could pursue to be even more effective next time. For example:

  • Do I know of someone who has expertise in this area?
  • Do I need to take more time getting my facts in order?
  • Do I need a system to ensure mistakes don’t happen again?
  • What skills do I need to brush up on?
  • Do I need to invest in new equipment?

Once you have several ideas on how to be even more effective, begin the process of evaluating them. How feasible are they? How effective would they be? Are they affordable? How excited are you about committing to this idea?

Eventually, one idea, or two at the most, will clearly stand out. Now you are ready to commit to your action step(s).

Your Inspired Action Step(s)

All your good work can be undone, if you make a long to-do list at this point. You know that if your overcommitted nothing gets done! You already have enough to do! No, this is about committing to one Inspired Action Step, or two at the most.

Remember that being committed means being willing to do whatever it takes, while being interested means doing whatever is convenient. When you decide on your action step, you are making a commitment to yourself, and your word is your bond.

Don’t be vague when writing your action step. Make sure it is specific, time-dated and measurable. Write it in your calendar or phone, or whatever system you use to keep you on track. Again, if you don’t write it down, it won’t get done.

Finally, make sure you follow-up. Did your action step increase your effectiveness? Is it a practice that you will keep doing? If not, then it’s back to the drawing board. Pick another idea, implement it and review the result.

Continued improvement

In this way of using the three questions to facilitate self-discovery, you find that you are simply, effortlessly and consistently making improvements. Your self-esteem is high and you are honoring your own wisdom.

You can make this an ongoing practice; perhaps it’s the ritual you apply at the end of each day, or at the end of a week, or the end of a project? You decide – and commit to it!

Oh, and why is facilitating self-discovery so powerful? You are more committed to your own ideas versus other peoples’. Think about it: you didn’t like being told what to do when you were 2 years old, and you don’t like it any better now!

I’d love to hear your comments and questions!

Aimée Lyndon Adams

About the Author, Aimée Lyndon-Adams

Aimée Lyndon-Adams is both a seasoned corporate executive and a metaphysician practicing spiritual energy healing. She has provided coaching and healing sessions to individuals, couples and groups and has offered an energy management curriculum of training classes for many years. She is an articulate and charismatic speaker and facilitator.

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Blogging or Newsletters or Both?

Blogging or Newsletters or Both?

Why adding blogging and newsletters to your content marketing mix will increase sales opportunities

Often when I work with new entrepreneurs or even seasoned business owners, a lot of confusion happens around the whole content marketing thing. Should they blog? Should they send out newsletters? Do they have to do both?

The first thing that pops into their mind is it sounds like a lot of work! So often both marketing options are dismissed under that assumption.

The second thing that creates resistance to writing blogs and/or newsletters is not knowing what to write or how to do it.

So this article first explains the benefits of blogging and sending out newsletters and then I offer a simple solution that should easily be able to fit into anyone’s marketing budget.

Why Send Newsletters?

One of the most important assets to your business is the people that are listed in your database. This is important because these people have shown an interest in your product or service and therefore are considered to be a part of your “target market.”

One of the best and easiest ways to get people listed into your database is through an online newsletter offering, often referred to as an eZine or eNewsletter.

I realize this can be a scary proposition – not only with what to write but making the commitment to write something on a regular basis.

However, the benefits of sending a regular newsletter should far outweigh these fears.

Consistently sending out a newsletter will:

  • Continually remind your followers of your existence and thus, reminding them of the product or service you offer.
  • Enhance your business brand recognition when sent through an email template that matches your brand and website’s look and feel.
  • Position you as an expert in your field, giving you credibility and trust amongst your followers.
  • Enable the ability to be forwarded to friends and associates of your followers, spreading the word about you and providing an opportunity for those to subscribe as well.
  • Make it much easier to “sell” to a person who already knows, likes and trusts you rather than to strangers first visiting your site.

Why Bother With Blogging?

Blogging, considered an extension of social media marketing, also has its benefits. It gives you an opportunity to write about news and information related to you, your business and your industry on a regular basis.

By doing this, you can be discovered by a much bigger audience. This audience is found from a variety of different avenues but primarily via Social Media and Search Engines.

Some advantages to blogging are:

  • Search engines pick up blog postings quickly and easily, giving you great SEO optimization and exposure in search results.

    Not only that but search engines will also see that you are updating your website on a regular basis, rewarding your efforts by getting your site higher up in the search results.

  • Blogs can be built within your existing website, thus driving traffic to your whole site when someone wants to read one of your articles.
  • Subscribers have the ability to subscribe to your blog, reminding them of you and your business each time you post a new article.
  • People have an opportunity to share your article to their various social media channels, giving an opportunity for your article to “go viral.”

    Other bloggers could also pick up your post and re-post it to their blog (with your permission of course) or reference to it from a post, creating a “trackback” that gives positive SEO juice to your site.

  • They are positioning you as an expert in your field, giving you credibility and trustworthiness amongst your readers.
  • Being much easier to “sell” to a person who already knows and trusts you – visitors will get this from being a faithful reader of your blog postings

So which strategy is more important than the other or should you do both?

If I had to choose one or the other, I’d opt for the blog to be more important; however, I personally feel it is best if you do both methods of marketing to get optimal results.

Here’s why:

  • Newsletters give you the opportunity to have an active database of your target market where blogs don’t.
  • A blog gives you a more economical way of frequently reaching out to your target market – whether it’s a short note or a lengthy article, you don’t have to pay out money since the blog can be fully managed by yourself.
  • Newsletters give you the opportunity to personalize and direct your message to each person on your list where blogs need to speak to a generic audience.
  • Blogs are picked up by search engines easier and can attract a more global audience where newsletters are targeted to a specific audience within your database.
  • Newsletters give you the opportunity to attract subscribers by offering a free digital give-away (such as a report, audio message, short eBook etc) which can then be followed up with an auto-responder series that can lead to sales where blogs need to entice with each posting created to generate a loyal following.

As you can see, each method has its own unique marketing qualities and should both be used to attract more clients.

One trick that I do to avoid redundant work is to include the blog post in my newsletter. Each week when I send out my newsletter, I reference the blog post and ask my followers to read the whole post on my blog.

This way, a newsletter does not require a lot of extra writing, it’s simply being strategic about the content that you write and ensuring it reaches the largest number of people through different marketing methods.

Always Provide Value

There is a cautionary note to both forms of content marketing – in order to create a faithful following, you must always think in terms of what your readers (and more importantly your ideal target market) are wanting and needing from you.

You need to give them valuable information (or entertainment) that will make them feel it is worth their while to either receive your newsletters or read your blog postings.

As soon as it isn’t worth their while, you have lost them by either removing their RSS feed from their blog reader or unsubscribing to your newsletter.

If you want further information on how to get started on either, we help many busy entrepreneurs with the writing, posting and sending blog articles and newsletters for our clients. We can help you too! Contact me for information.

To your success,

About the Author, Susan Friesen

Susan Friesen offering 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and download your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".