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How an Ideal Client Avatar Helps You Better Connect with Your Website Prospects

How an Ideal Client Avatar Helps You Better Connect with Prospects on Your Website

When visitors come to your website they want to know if you understand their issues and can help them.

I have found many businesses falter when it comes to connecting with potential customers. They write about their products and services but forget it’s really about the customer and what they are needing when they visit a website.

That’s why using your ideal client avatar to create a “who we help” page on your website is important. It helps your website visitors self identify if they are your ideal customer.

Using an ideal client avatar on a 'who we help' web page is great for client attractionClick To Tweet

Once you connect to someone on that deeper level it’s easy for them to take the leap to hiring you.

So how do you go about creating an ideal client avatar for your “who we help” page? There are 4 basic parts to this: who they are, what their issues tend to be, what they need right now, and what they should do.

Grab a piece of paper and let’s dig in.

Part 1: Their Identity

Sit down and picture your ideal client. The key to doing this effectively is to drill down to one perfect customer and go deep:

  • Who is your all time favourite ideal customer?
  • Who got tremendous value out of working with you and are incredibly grateful for it?
  • Who is more than happy to pay you?
  • Who often refers other people to you?
  • Who gives you a lot of joy when you work with them?

This is the kind of “A-list” ideal client you want to attract more of to your business.

It is often helpful to give them a full avatar identity, a fictitious profile that embodies the persona of your ideal client. Write a short paragraph describing all about this person. You want potential clients to read this and say, “wow that’s me!”

Itemize details such as:

  • Full name
  • Age
  • Industry
  • Their passion
  • Their current state, whether in personal or professional life
  • Profession
  • Income level
  • Interests and passions

Example: I love working with clients like Jenna Anderson.  She is a 54-year-old owner of a small fashion boutique.  Her passion is helping women find clothing that celebrates their sense of style and helps them feel ageless. 

Her boutique is successful and she is working to open a new clothing line this fall to expand her offerings.

Part 2: Their Issues

Write a short paragraph describing the worries and issues keeping them up at night. Ask yourself what needs are unmet for them? Write a sentence that specifically shows how they feel about this.

Example: Her issues tend to be that she is so busy with the day-to-day needs of her business that she doesn’t have time to focus on creating the designs for her new line.  She needs to hire some new employees to help out but is having trouble finding women who are a fit.

Running the store and doing the bookwork keeps her so busy she doesn’t have time to work on next steps for her business. She needs some help hiring new help, delegating and creating a game plan.

Part 3: Their Pressing Needs

Give specific examples of what “the solution” would look like.  Say how they would feel about having that kind of relief in their life.

Example: What she needs most right now is someone to help her write effective job descriptions so she can hire a stronger sales team for the store.  She also needs to look at what is on her plate and how she can have her team members take some of that off her shoulders. 

She needs someone who is a coach and a cheerleader to push her to create her designs and get them into production.  It would be thrilling to finally see her visions come to life. She would love to have some go-getter employees who feel the same passion she does for empowering women with clothing that makes them feel confident and strong.

Part 4: Their Next Step

Now that we have their attention and have generated interest and desire, it’s time to have them take action.  Tell them how they can get started working with you.

Think about what their next step should be.  Is it a discovery call or initial consultation? What program offering would help them? Is there a product that would show them how to fix it themselves?  Or do you offer a done-for-you service to tackle this problem for them?

Example: You’re invited to have a free breakthrough session where we can look at where your business is at, what challenges you are facing, what opportunities you have, and how we can help you bridge the gap to achieve your desired goals. 

Click here to schedule your free breakthrough session now.

Defining Your Avatar Helps You Personalize Your Marketing

Now that you know who your ideal client is, what they need, and how you can help them, you can now create a “Who We Help” web page that directly speaks to them.  You could also sprinkle in some of your most impactful testimonials to further reinforce how you can help your ideal client.

The added bonus of defining your ideal client avatar is that it helps you write in a very personable way in your marketing. This enhances and escalates the “Know, Like and Trust” factor you want to achieve with your followers.

It completely transforms the impact of your writing when you make it personal and connective.  In my own marketing, I write a newsletter or email piece directly to my ideal client. I often have our email subscribers write back personally as if I had written directly to them.

If you need any help in identifying your ideal client, consider one of my mentoring packages to help with not only that, but also with your marketing and social media strategy on attracting those ideal clients to your business.

To your ongoing success,
Susan Friesen

P.S. Are you needing guidance on how to define your niche market and how to position yourself in your industry? Having a mentor to help you through this process can save you time and costly mistakes.

› CONTACT US TODAY
P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

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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".

10 Ways to Attracting Clients Through Kindness

10 Ways to Attracting Clients Through Kindness

Why Being Generous in Your Business Will Result in More Loyal Customers

Have you ever noticed feeling compelled to do something for those who have helped you– even if they haven’t asked you to?

That’s the Law of Reciprocity at work.

This law says whatever you give, whether it’s money, time or effort… that it comes back to you with a tenfold return.

I know for a fact this law works as we’ve experienced it many times over the years.  Almost like clockwork, we notice a distinct increase in leads that come in after making a donation or doing something extra for a client.

How Relationship Marketing Incorporates the Law of Reciprocity

Some businesses lead with hard-selling tactics to drive you to buy.  This is called “push marketing”.  But others, using “inbound or relationship marketing” strategies, have discovered how to put the power of generosity to work in their business.

How do you think your business would change if, instead of TAKING you focused on GIVING? Once you shift your focus to serving others and creating value –  it changes everything.

How would your business change if you focused on giving rather than taking?Click To Tweet

Over time, your generosity creates a reputation that sets you apart and your rate of referrals will increase as well.

So how would you like to have not only more clients but more loyal ones too?

Here are ten ways to be more generous in your business to achieve that:

  1. Be a Great Resource. If anyone needs a referral, share vendor referrals of those you know and trust.  People will see you as the “go-to” person and come to you for recommendations.
  2. Give More Than Expected.  Doesn’t it feel nice when you walk into a hotel room and there’s a mint on your pillow?  It’s an unexpected surprise.
     
    Here’s some ideas to get you started: Provide more value that what you charge.  Go the extra mile.  Give a surprise gift.  Deliver your product or service faster than promised.
  3. Provide Excellence.  Since your business needs to differentiate itself from your competitors, how about making it your mission to only offer top-quality products and services?
     
    This includes customer service too: Respond to all email and phone messages promptly. Give clients uninterrupted attention.  Listen to and address concerns are some ways to do this.
  4. Serve Others. Zig Ziglar once said “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”  And Mary Kay’s empire was built on the premise of achieving success by helping someone else succeed.
     
    Many entrepreneurs are in business because they are on a mission to serve others in some capacity. When you live your purpose, you’ll live a life of joy while making a difference.
  5. Open Yourself to Receiving.  Most of us were never taught how to receive. For instance, how do you typically respond when someone complements you? Do you push back and try to minimize their sincerity?
     
    Same thing applies to your business – If you say “no” when clients, money or opportunities come your way, those opportunities will stop coming.
     
    This means making space in your mind and heart for more.  It means accepting money, kindness, complements or assistance that is offered to you.   This keeps your flow of abundance open energetically.  You give and it comes back to you.
  6. Listen to Your Inner Voice.  Inner wisdom leads us to those who need our help.  Stop, listen and take action on those nudges.  Offer your attention, time, and advice in their hour of need.
  7. Follow The Golden Rule. I grew up with this rule ingrained into my psyche as a Brownie and Girl Guide. Essentially, treat others the way you wish to be treated – and that includes in business too.
     
    When a company treats you right or sells you a terrific product, you feel happy. You feel loyal. You’re likely to buy more from that company. You’re likely to recommend that company’s products and services to friends, family and colleagues.
     
    Make it your goal is to have the same thing be done for you.
  8. Perform Acts of Kindness.  Lift up others.  Empower others through a simple word of encouragement and inspiration. Share your vision of what you see is possible for them.
     
    This article shares Small Acts of Kindness That Grow Your Bottom Line for some inspiration.
  9. Be Genuine.  Share yourself openly with those in your network.  Let them see the real you.  Build warm relationships with people around you.  Make them feel special.
  10. Practice Gratitude. When your heart is full of gratitude and you put forth effort to show your gratitude, really great things can happen.
     
    Make it a practice every day to share gratitude.  Who has shared a referral?  Who taught you something?  Who is your favourite new customer and why?  What vendor did a great job on a project?
     
    Show thanks for someone or something today and watch what happens.

Be Generous and Watch Your Business Grow

There are many other ways you can practice kindness and will see returns tenfold. Go volunteer, be a sponsor, donate funds to a worthy charity or even invest in a business that you believe in!

Remember as a business person we can serve with compassion, kindness, patience and respect. Being a good person not only makes you feel happier but it is also great for business.

So make it your mission to make someone’s day brighter every single day!

Do you have a story to share about someone who helped you that made a difference? Share in the comments section below!

To your ongoing success,
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

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

10 Ways to Attracting Clients Through KindnessClick To Tweet

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 Ensure Your Website is Ideally Positioned For Your Target Market

How to Ensure Your Website is Ideally Positioned For Your Target Market

5 Key Components Your Website Requires to Attract Your Ideal Client and Get the Sales You Want

Is your website attracting the right people who are actually interested in purchasing from you?

Or is it just sitting there and not really accomplishing what you hoped it would?

Every business owner wants to get more qualified traffic to their site and then convert that traffic into sales. I mean there’d be no point in having one if that weren’t the ultimate goal!

But it seems to me a lot of business owners miss the mark in HOW to make that goal a reality.

The truth is, you’re not going to get the results you want from a purchased WordPress theme or worse, a free WIX or GoDaddy site.  Sorry, but throwing up a cheap, pre-built site just for the sake of having something up is not going to win you any Brownie (or Scout) badges in the Business Marketing category (if there is such a thing??)

Why? Because those types of free, low-cost or DIY sites are not going to do the job you want them to unless you have expertise in all of the different factors a website requires that converts visitors into buyers.

Free, low-cost/DIY websites won't get results unless you have lots of web development expertiseClick To Tweet

This is why we design and build custom websites and never touch the purchased themes or drag and drop DIY sites. They simply aren’t going to get the job done that our clients expect.

What do I mean by that?

First, it’s important to understand your website serves many purposes such as:

  • A way to showcase your business and its offerings
  • A means for constant marketing and promotion 24-hours a day
  • A platform that emphasizes your brand positioning
  • A facility for converting visitors into paying customers
  • A device for attracting your ideal clients into your sales and marketing funnels so you can continue to nurture them

And in order to accomplish all of that, a lot of planning, strategy and design needs to take place.

To have a lead-generating website, a lot of planning, strategy and design is first requiredClick To Tweet

This article provides five factors that go into building and promoting a website that converts. Each factor requires the right expertise to make your site a client-attracting, lead-generating machine:

  1. Visually-Appealing Branding

    Your visual brand is extremely important. The impression people instantly get about you when they land on your home page or landing page will greatly impact their decision to keep exploring or move on to your competitor.

    Not Just a Pretty Logo…

    Branding is not just having a pretty logo designed by you or someone on Fivrr. It’s a visual representation that shows your understanding who your ideal client is and how to position yourself in front of them in order to appeal to them.

    Identify Your Ideal Client

    The first thing to do is define who the people are that are your perfect client. You need to clearly understand what problems they have and how your product or service will be a solution for them.
     
    This analysis needs to be a deep exploration not only of the typical demographics such as age, gender and location, but also a psychographics study of what emotional state they are in.
     
    The analysis will then help you understand what specific colours, imagery, fonts and other style assets to use on your website, logo and branding so that it strongly appeals to them.
     
    By going through this process and designing a website with a specific purpose of positioning you favourably in front of your ideal client, you will then “speak their language” and reassure them they are in the right place.

  2. Compelling Marketing Messages

    Having a visually appealing website is just half the battle. You also need it need to be user-friendly and not cause confusion that will potentially send them away.
     
    But more importantly, when your ideal client lands there, the words they read and the images they see also need to appeal to them.
     
    This is why you need to create a powerful marketing message through excellent copywriting that speaks directly to their situation, needs, challenges and struggles.

    Let Your USP Shine

    Your unique marketing message needs to be prominent on the home page through the use of headlines, videos, testimonials, and images. This message also needs to showcase your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) – why should they choose you over your competitor?
     
    Here’s more tips on what your home page should include.

    Your Home Page is Just the Tip of the Iceberg

    The rest of your site pages also need to stay focused with this intent. And having other means in getting your marketing message out to the masses is also a big factor to consider.

  3. Consistent Content Marketing

    Whether it’s a blog post, newsletter, podcast or YouTube show, pick at least one or two of these content marketing strategies and consistently get your message out there in front of the right people.
     
    Frequency is the key. But not only do you have to be consistent, you also have to create and stick to a marketing calendar where, at minimum, you should be producing informative content on a weekly basis.

    Create a Free Giveaway

    Most first-time users to a website won’t make an immediate purchase. This is why you want to get them into your newsletter database so you can continue to nurture them where they will eventually make the purchase when ready.
     
    This is often done using a free giveaway. Something that your ideal client would want to receive from you that would be very helpful to them.
     
    Do some market research to find out if a free report on a specific topic would be something they would find valuable enough to provide their name and email address for. It might be a video series that is more compelling to them.
     
    You need to find out what they will find irresistible and then create it.

    Create Shareable Content

    Your blog is a prime place for you to showcase your expertise and provide solutions to your ideal clients’ problems.
     
    By being consistent with creating and sharing new, informative content, the more you are developing the “Know, Like and Trust” factor with them. This then creates a better chance of them converting to paying clients.

  4. Implementation of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Strategies

    Once your website is built, it needs to be search engine optimized in order to be found through Google and other search engine results.
     
    The text, titles, descriptions and keywords all need to be in alignment with what your ideal client will be searching for when they are looking for a solution to their problem, of which your product or service will provide.
     
    Your website should also be submitted to various search engines and directories to ensure it is being properly indexed and found.

  5. Active Social Media Involvement

    When you know who your ideal client is, it’s easier to find them on social media and draw them to your website.
     
    Provide valuable, informative and inspirational posts you know they will want to receive from you to help build your brand exposure. This will compel them to want to check you out further by visiting your website.
     
    Be sure to use the 20% rule and sprinkle in promotional posts amongst your value-driven posts that will drive traffic back to your website.
     
    Also make sure your visual brand is consistent throughout all your social media accounts. That’s very important for brand continuity so your ideal client will begin to recognize you and your business just by seeing your brand visuals.

‘Cheap and Easy’ Could Be Costing You Qualified Business Leads

As you can see there are several factors involved in having a website that will actually get you results.

So before you convince yourself the cheap and DIY route is the best way to go, take into consideration how much potential business you could be losing because your primary piece of marketing, your virtual storefront if you will, is not appealing to the right people.

If you’re worried your website is not reaching its true potential, give us a call and let’s discuss how we can turn that around for you.

To your success,

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

Here’s How to Ensure Your Website is Ideally Positioned For Your Target Market from @eVisionMediaClick To Tweet

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 Business PR Starts with Knowing Your Ideal Target Audience

Why Business PR Starts with Knowing Your Ideal Target Audience

How well do you know your ideal client or your target audience?

In business, there are many ways to go about getting clients. We have the service-based business where we take on clients where we work with them one-on-one or in small groups, and we have the kind of business where we are selling a commodity.

Each kind of business takes a different sales approach. The first is often more relationship-based, and the second is often more product-based.

Service-based businesses

If you’re selling a service, how often do you, as a business owner, take work that isn’t a perfect fit?

The live client is there and in front of you – so yes! You’ll take the work.

But what if you only took work that was a perfect fit for you and your business? Do you even know what a perfect fit is for your business?

Understanding your ideal client is more than knowing their age, their demographic and where they hang out online.

It’s about knowing yourself and your business offerings.

What is it that you offer that’s unique to you?

Why would people want to hire you over anyone else?

Here are some questions to ask yourself that will help you get really clear on what your strengths are as a business and who you’re really after in an ideal client:

Analysis of Core Strengths:

  1. If a complete stranger were to come up to you and you had no idea their background or what their interests might be, what would you tell them that you did?
  2. What do you know you do better than almost anyone else you know?
  3. What is it that you love to do and would gladly do for free? No matter what?
  4. What’s your track record? What are your most favourite clients or projects and why?

Analysis of Ideal Client:

  1. Describe the last client who hired you. What was their:
    1. Gender
    2. Age
    3. Income bracket
    4. How did they hear about you?
  2. Now do a review of the clients who have hired you over the past year. Create a spreadsheet analysis of their commonalities.
  3. Rate, on a scale of 1-10, how much you enjoyed working with each one of them.
  4. What are you learning?

Product-based businesses

What if you’re selling a product?

It’s the latest, greatest thing to hit the travel community or the housewares department.

This involves a broader approach to your sales and still requires you really getting connected to why your ideal client (or target audience) would buy your product.

This can really help when designing PR campaigns to reach them.

What are your target audiences looking for?

Why might they buy the product?

What else can you do to cross-promote the product? E.g. If you are selling a travel accessory, writing articles and creating content that creates an experience for the reader would be a great way to promote your product.

But the catch is you need to know where they hang out, what they read, where they get their news, and what they like to do for fun.

Analysis of Your Product:

  1. Is your product a luxury or needs-based product?
  2. Is your product something that will be repeatedly purchased or is it likely a one-time only purchase?
  3. What need are you filling when people purchase this product?
  4. Can you create an experience around this product? i.e. is it just coffee that you’re selling or are you selling friendship and a relaxing moment in your day?
  5. When would people likely think of purchasing your product?

Analysis of Ideal Customer:

  1. Describe your ideal customer – why would they purchase your product?
  2. What do you know about your ideal customer?
    1. Gender
    2. Age
    3. Income bracket
    4. Where do they purchase your product?
  3. What’s the need you are filling when they purchase your product?
  4. What other things do your customers have in common? For example, if they are purchasing a travel-related product, what else might they purchase and where?

The more we know about your ideal customer or client the more we can use different marketing and communications techniques to reach them.

Here is a list of different ways that you can advertise to your ideal client or customer without them feeling like you’re selling to them:

  1. Blog articles
  2. News media stories that mention your product or establish a need for your product
  3. Speaking Engagements at events
  4. Client or customer contact events
  5. Referrals from previous customers or clients
  6. Social media posts
  7. Sponsorship of causes you care about
  8. Posting opinion pieces that raises your company’s profile
  9. Entering contests that promote your business
  10. Giving away product promotion pieces that have people remember you

The better you know your ideal client or your target audience, the more likely these PR tactics will reach them and turn into sales for you!

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.


4 Content Marketing Trends for Business Owners in 2017

4 Content Marketing Trends for Business Owners in 2017

As we approach 2017, it’s interesting to think about where we’re headed in the coming year when it comes to marketing our business.

All business owners want to stay on top of their game by being prepared for what’s ahead but in today’s fast-changing world, what does that look like?

To stay on top of your content marketing game in 2017, plan ahead nowClick To Tweet

Below are some content marketing trends you’ll want to prepare for when marketing your business in the coming year:

  1. Incorporate More Social Media Graphics, Infographics, Visuals and Videos.  Since your followers are 80 percent more likely to read your content if you use coloured visuals, this area needs to be built up more across your social media channels.
     
    The popularity of visual content will only increase, so you must be prepared. Using Facebook live is still a hot commodity so be sure to dive into that opportunity too!
  2. Build a Team.  60 percent of marketers in one survey said content creation was their biggest challenge last year.
     
    To overcome this obstacle, get a team of people to help make content development and publishing easy. This includes having a good writer and social media specialist.
  3. Tap Into Influencers.  90% of consumers trust peer recommendations where only 33% trust ads.
     
    Consumers have begun to tune out traditional ads and increasingly connect to their social networks to guide their buying decisions. That’s why connecting with influencers is so important.
     
    What is an influencer? “Influencers are people with significant networks (followers, readers, etc.) who can speak to a broad range of products and services with the ability to sway opinions in their favor.”  –  Jess Estrada.
     
    Identify influencers to reach out to in your industry. Follow them on social media and see where you can strike up a conversation.
  4. Drive Content Marketing Leads into a Funnel. High value content is one thing, but if you don’t build in a strategy that continues building rapport with prospects in the right way, you are leaving money on the table.
     
    Content Marketing is a highly effective way to segment your audience and send them targeted follow-ups and offers, instead of adding them to your main email list.

Creating an Effective Content Marketing Plan for 2017

One of the biggest mistakes I have seen businesses make is they jump into content marketing without a strategy.  While trying to appeal to their target market, they slap together a couple of eBooks and free offerings and hope it will be enough to drive sales.

The first step to making content marketing really work for you is to have a solid, smart content marketing plan in place.

Make sure you outline the following essentials in your content marketing plan: 

  • Understand Who You Are Marketing to. Before starting any kind of marketing strategy, it’s vital you understand who your ideal target market is. There’s no point in investing your time and money into marketing when you don’t have a clear understanding of who you want to buy from you.
  • A Comprehensive Review of Past Efforts.  Review your past content marketing efforts and results from 2016. This helps you to see what was most effective, what wasn’t, and develop a plan to improve for next year.
  • Set Goals and Benchmarks to Determine Future Campaign Success. Having a clear understanding of what you want to accomplish and what that will look like is important.
     
    Do you want to develop awareness? Are you working to build brand loyalty? Are you educating prospects? Want to increase engagement with your tribe? Are you increasing sales and profitability?
  • Develop Content Ideas that Align with Sales Goals.  Here’s some example sales goals:
    • Boost sales of Mega Fit Bootcamp by 25%.
    • Get 50 new leads a month into our sales funnel.
    • Create an eBook on Sales Tips for People Who Hate to Sell to drive leads to the funnel.
  • Plan a Content Marketing Calendar with Dates and Deadlines. Create an editorial calendar that clearly lays out your dates and deadlines so you can easily prioritize your efforts. This eliminates the “what do I write” problem.
     
    It also makes it much easier to work ahead on content and delegate to team members.

I hope you’d enjoyed these highlights, stats, and facts to help you prepare for content marketing in the coming year.

If you’re feeling this topic is a bit overwhelming, I invite you to join my Social Blast monthly membership program where I cover content marketing tactics and strategies. Click here for details.

I’m curious: What changes do you plan to make to your social media strategy in 2017?

To your success,

P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

Here's 4 Content Marketing Trends for Business Owners in 2017Click To Tweet

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 Find Ideal Clients

How to Find Ideal Clients - 5 Important Steps for Defining Your Niche Market

5 Important Steps for Defining Your Niche Market

I talk a lot to clients about branding and finding their niche but this can be quite challenging to new entrepreneurs or even seasoned business owners when it isn’t clear what their brand is or who their ideal clients are.

New entrepreneurs have a vision of how they want to help people and have a gift they can share that will help solve their problems, but they struggle with getting the right message to the right people who can benefit from their services.

New entrepreneurs often struggle getting the right message to the right peopleClick To Tweet

In order to find ideal clients, you need to do some homework first in order to make your marketing message appeal specifically to them, their struggles and what they’re hoping to accomplish.

Here’s 5 steps to help you find perfect clients to work with:

  1. Stop thinking you can work with anyone or defining too wide of a niche.

    One of the reasons why new entrepreneurs struggle is because they are trying to help too large of a group of people. Even though it’s human nature to help as many people as possible, the trouble with this approach is your marketing message end up being too diffused and won’t be appealing enough to compel people into action.
     
    Even if you narrow down your niche to a specific class of individuals, such as business owners or real estate agents, this is still too wide of a reach and your message cannot possibly appeal to everyone within those groups.
     
    Get clear on who it is you want to work with. Be specific. What gives you the most joy when working with people? Who loves working with you and are happy to pay you for your services?
     
    Focus on those types of clients – the “A” list – and define a sub group from there.

  2. Get a clear picture in your mind of what your ideal client “looks” like.

    Once you have a sub group of your “A-Listers” now define specifics on certain characteristics they all have in common.
     
    As yourself questions like:

    1. Are they predominantly male or female?
    2. What age range are they in?
    3. Are they all within a certain industry?
    4. Where are they geographically located?
    5. What kind of income bracket do they fall in?
    6. Do they share similar interests or beliefs?
  3. Understand the group’s psychographics

    This is one of the most important parts of your research that must be done before you can start marketing yourself to your newly defined niche. You must know what their state of mind is.
     
    Find out about:

    1. The biggest challenges, obstacles or problems they face that you can help them with.
    2. What they are worried about and need the kind of help you can provide.
    3. What exactly do they need, not necessarily what they want.
  4. Be clear on the results you can provide them

    Next you want to be clear on how you can help this group of people. What results will they get from working with you? What problems will you be able to solve for them? What kinds of benefits would they get after working with you?
     
    You will also want to lay out how specifically will you help them with those struggles. Do you have a step-by-step process, system or software that will help them solve their problem? Ensure your marketing message clearly outlines how you can deliver the results they seek.

  5. Understand why they should hire you instead of your competitor

    Part of the process of identifying your niche is to also be clear on what makes you different from your competitors. What is your USP – your Unique Selling Position?
     
    Do some research on others who could also help solve similar problems and identify why you are different from their approach. Your marketing message can then showcase those differences to help your niche decide to work with you.

In order to find ideal clients, it’s important to take these steps first and clearly understand who it is that makes up your niche market.

The next step is to write your marketing message specifically tailored towards that group of people.

Your marketing message must be clear and with the same language your niche uses so they can relate to what you’re saying and trust that you know what they are going through and can help them.

Stop Thinking You’ll Be Losing Out On Opportunities

Avoid falling into the trap of thinking you don’t want to turn anyone away and will lose income opportunities if you focus on a niche. This is a falsehood that holds no basis of truth. In fact, the opposite will happen and you will end up appealing to a much smaller group of people due to your too-diffused marketing message.

If you need help with defining your ideal clients and narrowing down your niche, I’ve helped many entrepreneurs with this process during my brand and marketing mentoring. Let’s get you focused on your niche and come up with a marketing message that will help you find your ideal clients!

How about you? Do you struggle with defining your ideal client and niche marketing message? Share what’s happening for you in the comments section below.

To your success,

P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

Here’s 5 steps to help you find perfect clients to work withClick To Tweet

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 Get Clients Fast Using Warm Letters

How to Get Clients Fast Using Warm Letters

Are you keeping your business a secret?

You may think you are doing a great job on social media, networking, and marketing online to grow your business.  But you may not be utilizing your very biggest asset… and that is your own personal network.

Most of us have established a network of at least 250 people.  It’s important to keep in touch regularly with your network to stay top of mind.

And the best way to do this is with a warm letter.

A great way to introduce your business is through a warm letterClick To Tweet

Below are tips on what to write in a warm letter to send our to your personal network of friends and colleagues.

What Exactly is a Warm Letter?

If you haven’t heard of a warm letter you may be scratching your head wondering what this is.

A warm letter is a letter that you send in the mail to your friends, colleagues and even family members.  It’s a letter you send to reconnect with people you know, updating them on what you are doing professionally.

This is especially effective when you are first starting your business too. It’s one of the first things I tell my new entrepreneur mentoring clients to do!

Benefits of Sending A Warm Letter

Reaching out to the people in your network gives you an opportunity to rekindle that relationship, ask for referrals, and help people better understand what you do.

Plus, it provides you with an opportunity to help them by sharing a tip, resource, referral and be a super hero in their world.

What Should You Include in a Warm Letter

When you write this letter, you’ll want to include:

  • What you are currently doing now in your business
  • A description of who your ideal client is and if they know of anyone like that
  • What specific problems you solve and the benefits of working with you
  • If you offer any referral rewards when they pass your name to a client who signs up
  • That you’d like to get in touch soon to hear what they are up to and how you can help them
  • How they can sign up for your newsletter
  • Ways they can connect with you on social media

How Many Letters Should You Sent Out?

Before you go printing a thousand letters to mail out to your entire local database, consider how many letters you can realistically follow up with.

You will want to contact each of the individuals to see if they received the letter and set a time to connect via phone, Skype, or in person. So sending 5-10 letters a week is ideal.

Who Should You Send these Letters To?

Sometimes we forget all the wonderful connections we have in our network.  One tool to use is FRANK list – Friends, Relatives, Acquaintances, Neighbours, and Kids.  Grab a pen and paper and make a list of people you know from all of these categories.

Use FRANK (Friends, Relatives, Acquaintances, Neighbours and Kids) for your warm lettersClick To Tweet

Think of all the people you know from your church, former jobs, networking events and colleagues.  This can include who cuts your hair, your pastor, your real estate agent and so on.

When you list all the vendors you use for your business and personal life you’d be surprised how long the list is.

You can also go through your list of contacts in LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook and reach out with a message to get to know your social connections on a deeper level.

Using a CRM software can help you keep track of the marketing touches you do with people.  Hubspot offers a free CRM.  Another popular tool is Salesforce.

When Should You Send a Warm Letter

You may be wondering when the best time is to send a warm letter out. Ideal times are when you have something new an exciting to share.

Occasions to send out a warm letter include:

  • Launching a new business
  • Providing a new product or service
  • Launching a new website or re-brand
  • Receiving an award or accomplishment you have achieved
  • Sharing a fun new personal piece of news (marriage, anniversary, travel, baby, etc)
  • And just because… Periodically sent a note to people you haven’t spoken to in a while saying  “you crossed my mind the other day and I was wondering what you are up to”.

Don’t Forget to Follow Up

Sending the warm letters is only half the work.  The real power is in the follow-up.

Connect a week later with each of the people you sent letters to.  Set up a time to do coffee, tea, or a virtual connect.

It’s important to make people feel special and show you are there to help them too!

Write, Connect, and Grow

Start sending warm letters today and you’ll be surprised at how fast your business grows.

You have a wonderful network of people who know you, think you are amazing, and would love to help you out.

Just reach out, share a little love in a letter, and watch the magic happen. And if you need help with writing this letter to ensure it has optimal impact, we at eVision Media can help!

Have you ever written a warm letter for your business? Share in the comments section how it turned out!

To your success,

P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your followers!

Here's how to get clients fast using warm lettersClick To Tweet

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".

Marketing eTip: What To Write About For Your Blog

Today’s eTip is about finding the right topics to write about for your blog.

I know that I have been a strong proponent of making sure you post to your blog regularly with good articles.

Some of the feedback I receive is that people just don’t know what to write about so I thought today I would share a few ideas on what you want to write about in your blog.

First of all, what you want to do is you want to put yourself in the shoes of your ideal client. What kinds of questions do they keep asking you? What kinds of problems are you solving for them?

Whether it’s a product or a service you are offering, try and think about what they would be searching for in the search engines in order to help them solve the problems that you can offer a solution for.

Write about that. Write about the problems that people are facing and offer some solutions.

The best blog article topic is to offer tips to problems your ideal client faceClick To Tweet

And you don’t have to write a whole novel about it. Find one specific topic that you can write about and write a 400-500 article about that topic.

Then your call to action at the bottom can be to contact you for more information or to sign up for your free giveaway that might be related to that particular topic. Or to purchase one of your products or services that would be in relation to that particular article.

It really doesn’t have to be rocket science – just put yourself in your clients’ shoes and find out what would they be interested in learning from you? What would they want to hear from you?

And that’s where you can start with the writing.

I’d love to hear what you think – do you have a hard time coming up with blog titles or does it come easily for you? Share your response below in the comments section or if you have a question, I’d be happy to answer.

To your success,

P.S. New to online marketing or you find it overwhelming and confusing? Check out Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs. 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: www.socialblastcoaching.com

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 Industry Jargon is Scaring Your Clients Straight to Your Competitor

How Industry Jargon is Scaring Your Clients Straight to Your Competitor

Are you speaking a different language to your prospective clients and aren’t even aware of it?

I travelled to Montreal Quebec recently and even though my stay was brief, it was not without its challenges in the communication department.

In case you’re not familiar with Canada, we have two official languages: English and French with Quebec’s official language being French. The Constitution does require Quebec to have all legislation be enacted in both French and English though.

With me living on the West Coast all my life, I was never fully aware of how prevalent the French language is throughout that province until I tried to be a tourist there.

Much to my surprise, everything was in French where we were lucky if we saw English sub-scripts on the signs. Unfortunately my grade 12 French many years ago did not do me so well on this trip and I found myself being quite frustrated at the lack of English in my very own country. Just ask the gas attendant who saw me try to fill up the car while trying to read a screen all in French!

This experience reminded me of how language and communication is so important in our business.

Industry jargon in your business can scare clients straight to your competitorClick To Tweet

Every entrepreneur and business owner must be able to communicate clearly with their clients and prospective clients or risk losing them to a competitor. Trust me, if my tank wasn’t so low I would have easily driven off to another station that catered to us English-speaking folks!

One way we often don’t realize we are having a negative effect on our followers is through the “industry jargon” that we use on our website, social media and in our blog posts.

Industry jargon is using particular words or phrases that are very common in our own industry, but not necessarily what the general public is familiar with.

In the web development and online marketing industry, this can happen quite easily where even using the term “Industry jargon” could confuse a reader! Those in our industry know what it means, but does everyone?

Industry Jargon Creates Communication Barriers

I can provide lots of my own examples where it’s easy to talk over other people’s heads using website and marketing industry terminology and acronyms that are second nature to me, but are lost on the receiving end. This is especially true when trying to explain something technical about a website.

But the problem when we fall into that trap of using industry language we’re most familiar with, is the other person is left feeling embarrassed they don’t know what a term means. Often they don’t want to risk looking silly by asking for clarification. Then a disconnect happens where they are not feeling comfortable and will look for the nearest exit.

A problem I see often is on a website when the site owner is using industry jargon to communicate what it is they do and how they can help. The big risk here is if the reader doesn’t quite understand what is being said, they are much more apt to hit the back button and find a site they find more familiar.

Using such language on a website does not make you relatable to your target market since many people will not bother to try and figure out what is being communicated. They hold no allegiance to you so are more than willing to move on.

Industry jargon doesn't show off your expertise - it just makes you un-relatableClick To Tweet

Communicate in a Language Your Audience Can Relate

The best way to ensure you’re not speaking over your ideal clients’ heads is to communicate in a language they understand.

Use words and phrases they would commonly use and be familiar with, especially when describing the problems and challenges they are facing where they are looking to you to help solve.

So take a critical look at all of your marketing materials, including your website, promotional materials and even your social media posts. Are you using any industry jargon, acronyms or slang terms that are specific to your industry but others might not understand? Now is the time to find out and adjust as needed.

During my visit to Montreal, I could give several businesses some advice in this department! Especially where we rented our car – the car’s console display was in French! The attendant ended up spending 30 minutes going through all of the settings and getting the car drivable for a non-French speaking client.

This should never have happened but to those living in Montreal, having everything in French is quite normal to them. But it sure left a poor impression on how they run their business from a client’s perspective!

So always put yourself in your customer’s shoes – is what you are presenting to them something they understand or are you speaking French to them?

Your goal is to be relatable, approachable and non-threatening to their intelligence and you have a much better chance at not losing them to a competitor.

Do you have any experiences similar to mine where you moved on in an effort to find someone that spoke your language?

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 ‘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".