eBusiness Blog

Defining Your Niche Market for Sustainable Business Success

Today’s eTip is a follow up to last week’s video on finding your ideal client and we’re going to be talking about finding your niche.

Define your niche

As the head of eVision Media I am a good example of a generalist. I don’t have just one specific service I am strictly bound to.

The different types of topics in my eTips are as a result of my business model in that I employ website designers and developers, social media strategists and online marketing experts so my content varies across the areas we as a team service.

Most entrepreneurs won’t have the luxury of a diverse team to pull from when starting out so it’s very important that you define your niche service for yourself.

Be clear about what you provide

I know you probably could offer expertise on more than one topic. You may have knowledge of more than what you’ve chosen to focus on but in stepping away from your core offering you dampen the presence of your brand and what you’re known for.

It’s best to stick to what everyone knows is your expertise.

Take us for an example: Our particular niche is helping small business owners get online with a great website and brand presence, and then we take care of the online marketing too.

Now if I suddenly started offering my services as a travel agent to my customers their perception of me would change. While I may know about travel it doesn’t mean I should star charging to help with travel services because the mixed messaging would cloud my business’s branding position.

Focus on what you want to be known for

Your message needs to resonate with your audience so don’t take the approach of tossing your business card at anyone and hoping they’ll see the merit of your variety of offerings.

Instead make sure your business has focus and that you don’t try too hard to be all things to all people or you’ll risk losing your core user base through mixed messaging.

Once you’re established and have found your footing as a new business you can look into stretching into other areas by hiring on experts in related fields but when you start, just focus on what you want your business to be primarily known for.

If you have any questions about finding the ideal client please comment below and if you liked what you saw here please subscribe to our Youtube channel or newsletter so you can get updates and videos for small business entrepreneurs every week!

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

P.S. Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Our “All Under One Roof” boutique web development and digital marketing firm can help you make your vision a reality.

› CONTACT US TODAY
 

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

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

Understanding The Type Of Web Designer Your Business Needs

Do You Need To Hire Help With Your Website?

When speaking with entrepreneurs and business owners, they often don’t realize all of the different components involved in building a business website.

Many assume it’s a simple task that any “techie” person can do, or themselves for that matter, and things will magically come together.

However, that approach could be a costly one. Before you start putting feelers out about hiring someone, you should first assess what exactly it is you need in order to get your website up and running while avoiding a lot of frustration at the same time.

Today’s eTip is a review of what you need to assess about your business website needs before selecting your web developer.

 

Do You Know What Type of Developer You Need?

There are two camps involved in the answer to that: those who already know what they need and those who do not.

If you who have a clear understanding of what you need your website to be then you will be best served by having a solid set of technical hands to execute on your instruction. In this instance, you will need to know project management, website design and development, copywriting, online marketing and social marketing, usability, and more in order to relay exactly what you want to your developer.

Most business owners will not have all of those skill sets combined, or in some cases, any of those elements covered, so you’ll need to find someone to help you will all of that!

Your Website Is Your Biggest Piece of Marketing

You want your website to turn out great. You don’t ever want to consider the job done and be disappointed with the results.

To avoid being disappointed in the results of your web project, you’ll need someone to help you through the process.

By hiring a professional web development firm, you’ll have experts steering your website towards your goals so it’s attracting the right target market using the right marketing message while embodying the right overall vision.

A solid team of professionals can help you understand who your ideal target market is so your users convert into paying customers.

They’ll show you how your brand positioning helps you find that target market and what needs to be in place in order for it to work for them.

Most often one single person does not have all that ability. Hiring a team with experts in all the various fields will ensure the project meets your expectations.

You need professionals who really understand things like e-commerce, search engine optimization, marketing, copy writing, user experience, and more. You can get all of that if you hire an agency with a team who cover all of those important factors.

By hiring a team you get a variety of experts rather than relying on your own single expertise.

At eVision Media, we provide everything necessary to a complete web projects that work. If you’re looking to upgrade your website or are in the process of a redesign but hitting some hurdles, give us a call. We have experts in all areas of website development on hand to help you realize your project’s goals.

If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comments below and if you liked this video you can subscribe to either our Youtube channel or our newsletter to get weekly updates on having a successful website and business online.

Sign up for our newsletter today to receive weekly tips on marketing online for entrepreneurs!

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

Social Blast for Entrepreneurs

What If You Could Learn Social Media and Online Marketing Each Month With Ease?

If you are new to Social Media and online marketing or find it overwhelming and confusing, my monthly group coaching program, Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs is a perfect way for you to incrementally learn the best strategies and tactics to help you grow your business online.

  • Uncover what it takes to execute a successful, revenue-driving social media strategy
  • Learn how to build relationships, trust, and brand awareness with your ideal customer
  • Discover actionable strategies to engage followers online
  • Master creating compelling content that’s always on target
  • Discern how to authentically differentiate your brand in a crowded marketplace
  • Find out the best times to post for higher readership
  • Stay abreast with the latest prospecting techniques to grow your list, groups and more…
  • Learn ways to engage through social media monitoring and listening

It’s a monthly group coaching program for those just starting out or wanting more advanced strategies to help with their online marketing and social media efforts.

› CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

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

Easy Project Management Tips for Entrepreneurs Who Want to Get It Done Right, Right Now

Easy Project Management Tips for Entrepreneurs Who Want to Get It Done Right, Right Now

Using these project management concepts will increase your chances of success

Entrepreneurs, by their very nature, are big thinkers with big plans who want to make a big impact in the world. As an entrepreneur / small business owner, I get it – I do too. I also understand how many distractions there can be vying for your time every day.

After a long career with large corporations and earning my Six Sigma Green Belt, I realized that many of the things that worked well for me work equally as well in small businesses. 

Investing the time upfront to prepare your project plan and get everyone onboard is time well-spent.Click To Tweet

Project management is one of those critical skills that I believe every business owner should learn to do well.  I know how many distractions come up that could easily derail your goals if you don’t focus on doing the important things first.

Let me explain how you can utilize this skill to grow your business.

  1. Decide on your next big project goal

    Write down the name of the project and create a charter. The charter describes briefly what results you expect to accomplish.
     
    One of the many advantages of preparing a charter is that it forces you to clearly articulate what you really want. Once you know what your goal is, plan the steps to get there rather than just “winging” it and hoping for the best.

    For instance, is your project designed to:

    • Save money?
    • Increase sales?
    • Increase the number of email addresses you have in your management software?
    • Get more speaking gigs?
    • Write a book?
    • Increase the number of high-paying clients?
    • Create a new group or online program?
  2. Identify the scope of this project

    Keep the project small, focused and manageable. If it’s too big, chances of success are lower because there are so many moving parts that might compete for your time or resources. When you write your scope, list what you will do — and what you will not do.
     
    For instance, if you are working on increasing your visibility to your target audience you might consider a project around Facebook or LinkedIn. I recommend that you pick just one of them and knock it out of the park. In this case, if you picked Facebook, then state that this project does not include LinkedIn.
     
    Then you can do a separate project to work on LinkedIn with its own timeline and deliverables when you are ready.

  3. Define your baseline and your goal

    This will help you know where you are today and where you plan to be upon completion of this project. For instance, say you want to increase the number of people whom you can send marketing emails to.  
    You need to know the number of contacts today as well as the number you want to have at the end of the project. If it’s annual sales, then it’s easy to look at the past 12 months to get your actual sales. Then just set your goal as a dollar or percentage above the baseline.

  4. List each major step of the project.

    Include the name of the person responsible for completing each major step, and when each step will be accomplished.
     
    Oftentimes, one person cannot complete their step until someone else finishes theirs, so it’s important to understand the interdependencies.

  5. Determine the start and completion dates.

    Once you will have the start and completion dates, you will be able to identify milestones along the way.
     
    This will help you stay on track and accomplish your goal without a lot of stress, wasted time or forgotten steps.

  6. Prepare a budget

    The budget will define how much you will spend to accomplish the goal and when the money needs to be available. Your project may be designed to save money, such as taking on the marketing of your program yourself or changing vendors.
     
    In this case you would list when the savings will start showing up and how much more you will have in your bank account at the end of the project.

  7. Make a list of resources

    These are the resources you will need to accomplish the project. Are you going to do everything yourself or will you have a virtual assistant?
     
    Will you hire someone to prepare marketing materials, or to create your website, Facebook posts or a LinkedIn profile?

  8. Communicate clearly to everyone involved in the project

    And by clear, I mean precise, with no room for guessing or individual interpretations about what others think you want. Draw pictures, share examples and learn to speak their language if you are talking to technical people.
     
    Once you know who’s on your team, make sure they have an opportunity to provide input. One of them could hold that one big idea that will take your project from good to great.
     
    Have a brainstorming meeting – it’s is a great way to get everyone’s ideas and come up with a plan better than you could ever do on your own. After all, that’s why you invited the best & brightest to join your team in the first place, right?
     
    This process also guarantees that you have buy-in on the project and that everyone knows the objectives and their role in accomplishing them.

  9. Set up regularly scheduled meetings on your calendar

    This schedule will help you review progress, clear up any confusion, remove any barriers and provide direction.
     
    There is nothing worse than getting close to your project completion deadline only to realize that what you are getting is not at all what you expected! Especially if it all could have been avoided if you had set up the time to check in on the progress. Inspect what you expect!

  10. Set up team ground rules

    The ground rules can include frequency/length of meetings, notifying you in advance if they are going to miss the meeting, how conflicts will be handled and agreement by all that they will show up to the meetings prepared with their deliverables or notifying you well in advance if they are at risk of missing any critical milestones.

  11. Sign your charter

    I know – this might sound cheesy. But it really isn’t. This is a commitment you are making to yourself and the simple act of dating it, signing it and putting it up on your wall where it is literally in front of you all the time will make it much more likely that you will follow through and reap the benefits.

  12. Celebrate your wins along the way

    This doesn’t have to be at a high cost – it can be a simple “Thank You” card to one of your resources who delivers on schedule or a group dinner or pizza or a Starbucks gift card.
     
    A little goes a long way in motivating yourself and those on your team when appreciation is shown.

Your chances of reaching and most likely hitting it out of the park increase dramatically. And remember, the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.

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.


The Key to Success Is In Your Own Awareness

The Key to Success Is In Your Own Awareness

Awareness in life is a very important concept.

Awareness in business is critical to success.

As I observe situations and people, I realize that there are those who have awake and alert perceptions and those who just plod along, unaware of the challenges that their environment presents.

Acuity of mind is part being settled in an understanding of where you are and how your actions, or business relates to others. if you open an enterprise blind to the challenges, you may succeed, if luck goes your way, or your qualities are such that no-one can stop you.

For the rest of us, our business success will depend on understanding how our product or service fits into the marketplace and what challenges there are to present them to the buying public. 

Awareness of the circumstances and situations that surround you gives you the information to make appropriate decisions that are logically or intuitively intended to enhance your commercial opportunities.

Those who are aware will be more in tune to their intuition.

These are the “gut feelings’ that we have are really based on information we receive. We just process it differently than long analytical inquiries. We also need to process this information against all the alternatives and decide whether our intuitive or longer-term analysis provides us with the best answer.

Therefore, awareness is information.

With information you can ask others their opinion or decide yourself. The main advantage of, “vision of information” is that you have all the right ingredients to assist you in deciding how to grow, when to expand, when to retrench or when to leave your business as is.

It will help you decide which of your ideas have legs and are valid and which should be put on hold.

Situational awareness will help in so many other ways as we tweak our business models. Seeing what you competition is doing, what new upstarts are planning, and what mistakes are made by those who are losing business will assist you in making the right business and marketing decisions.

Information is powerful so don’t ignore it! Be aware.

About the Author, Bryce Jeffery

Bryce Jeffery

Bryce Jeffery has practiced law in BC for 28 years and been a commercial mediator for the last 14. Situated in Langley, he practices under the title, MB JEFFERY LAW and concentrates on conveyancing, mortgages, and wills and estates. Bryce's mediation practice makes him the most travelled mediator in BC with frequent stops throughout the interior, the north and Vancouver Island. He is also the author of Commercial Mediation, A Passionate Practice.

Visit his website at www.mbjlaw.ca to see how he can assist you and your business.


7 Book Marketing Mistakes Authors Need to Avoid

Book Marketing Mistakes Authors Need to Avoid

Book marketing is all about being prepared and ready to roll once your book is done. But unfortunately, marketing a book often comes when an author is so overwhelmed from the process of writing the book and finishing it, that the marketing aspect of it gets kicked to the curb.

Not to worry, these tips should help. It’s all about planning ahead and doing more of the right things consistently.

Let’s go over the basics of book marketing mistakes authors need to avoid:

  1. Pursuing Costly Reviews – Book reviews are fabulous and something you absolutely want to pursue. However, one big mistake many authors make is blindly sending out tons of copies.
     
    Remember that your books cost money and postage in sending them out. Not to mention the time to do so. So be targeted in who you send copies to. Also, it’s okay to follow-up with those who have promised reviews. Now don’t stalk them, but A-OK to ask.
  2. Website Magic Missed – It very much helps to have a good website for your book. One mistake many make is having their book be more of an afterthought on their site. There is a slight mention about your book and perhaps a link to purchase, but that’s it.
     
    It’s critical to give your book the space it needs to sell. If you don’t have a full website for it, make sure you devote enough critical mass on the site to make a difference.
  3. Newsletter: Incredible Free Offer Mishaps – One of the biggest mistakes most authors make is not even having a newsletter. So #1, do a newsletter.
     
    The #2 mistake: not having something of value to give away for those who sign up. Years ago most authors would give a few chapters of their book as a giveaway. That was cool back then, but today just doesn’t have the same impact. Instead give something of value such as an ebook, checklist, detailed reports or white papers, etc.
     
    #3 mistake: not sending it out enough. Just do it!
  4. Blogging Blunders – Biggest mistake in blogging is not doing it enough or writing the next great novel in each blog posting. No one has time to read those. Every blog post doesn’t need to be a short story. Instead have just a couple thoughts so you can write consistently.
     
    Have a plan for your postings too and consider a series of blog postings on a related topic. Your postings can solve problems and answer questions you see on your social media mentioned regularly, entertain, and most importantly always provide value.
     
    Remember too you can have some fun with it depending on the topic of your book. Consider hosting a contest or something. Bottom line: always connect.
  5. Who Goes There: Not Knowing Readers – Let’s face it, there are millions and millions of books on the market today and even though you think your book would apply to EVERYONE, it won’t. Get serious and break it down.
     
    Try this. I think my audience would include the following: Women between the ages of 18 and 40, who love to travel, and value a good relationship. Or they are successful businesswomen who know how to get what they want. You market best when you have your target audience in mind.
  6. Not Connecting With Readers – It’s essential to engage your fans and it’s never been easier to do. Make them feel you truly care about them and show how they matter a lot to the success of your book. Give back by actively connecting with them, but also, it never hurts to have a few incentives such as freebies and other personalized things.
     
    One great tip that many successful authors use is giving their readers first dibs on their upcoming book by providing a look into it. Not only does this help with the promotions of the upcoming book, but you build loyal fans by continually making them feel special.
  7. Social Media Boo Boos – One of the biggest mistakes authors make is they get started, build momentum, and then lose steam and basically disappear. One of the most important things you can do is plan ahead. Instead of disappearing, if you are having a hard time keeping up, cut back. Now of course we recommend going full steam ahead. But it’s better to have some new postings than to disappear, come back for a few days and go gangbusters, and disappear again.
     
    Consistency rules! Plus, don’t forget it’s so much more than just posting, you also need to be engaging. And it pays to pay up and promote postings and sponsor a couple of ads.
     
    On the flip side are those who wear out their audience with way too many postings on their book. (We know you’ve seen these before!)

    For example, “I’m writing a book.” Ten posts later, “I can’t believe I’m writing a book. My dream is coming true.” This is actually a good thing mentioned once or twice, but every day for months, it gets old fast. “My book is almost done.” And then every day an update or two. “My book has 10 more pages, yeah!” “My book is here.” Cool.

    And then comes the “Can you help me promote my book” and five thousand messages on that. YIKES! Now we aren’t saying don’t announce your book, you want to, just don’t bore your audience to death with too many updates that really offer no new value.

Now that you know the mistakes to avoid, it can be easy to do so. And once again, the most important part of marketing is being engaged with the audience you know and love who want what you have to offer as an author.

About the Author, Diana Ennen

Diana Ennen

Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing, www.virtualwordpublishing.com offers PR and Marketing services and PR and Virtual Assistant Coaching. She's the co-author of Virtual Assistant - The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA.

Sign up for her PR Tips at her site and email her at diana@virtualwordpublishing.com to receive her "pitching the media audio" from her PR Success Classes.