Update July, 2014
The Founding Fathers asked us to celebrate the 4th. Here are 8 ways you can do it.
#8. Buy something in support of our economy. Especially if it has the label “Made in America”.
#7. Wear something patriotic and go to a July 4th fireworks display. Eat with friends and family
#6. Gather with friends and family to ask God’s blessings on our country. The Founding Fathers said, “We don’t need a state church but there is a place for God in our country because without His providence and care we will surely fail”. We can’t keep on the path of “dummy down” on morals and responsibility and expect our country to be strong as it has been in the past.
#5. Display the flag on patriotic occasions. If you decorate your yard at Christmas, you ought to do it for patriotic holidays.
#4. Learn Your American Heritage. Many Virginians act as if they can skip from Jamestown to the Civil War. There was no guarantee of victory in the Revolution, many times it seemed all was lost. We won because we wore out the British army chasing us and had enough victories to convince the British Parliament they couldn’t win . We had rifles, they had muskets and insisted on fighting their way. We shot officers, they didn’t. Watch the History Channel if you don’t have time to read a history book.
#3. Attend patriotic observances on a regular basis. 4th of July, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day and Armed Forces Day are important. We need to honor those living and dead who protect freedom. Check with the VA War Memorial for their schedule. Hug a veteran.
#2. Support our military and naval forces anyway you can. Include the wounded and retired. Find an opportunity–they are out there. I will be at the RIC USO for part of my holiday weekend. They will be open 24/7 to serve soldiers and sailors passing through the airport.
#1 Build your business or organization to be the best it can be. The enemies of America reject you and everything you stand for. Fortunately their numbers are fewer than the ones who want to have what you have and “vote” by trying to come here. Create an America that will not fall by building each day the opportunity you have been given. Learn what you have to do to be successful and DO IT!
Note: My new website was launched on March 16, See www.masters-marketing.com Every small business owner is asking the question, “How can I market myself and my business and do it as cheaply as possible?” This site explores my answer.
“Grow Your Business with CC” will continue but focus on how to use Constant Contact to implement the ideas expressed on “Masters-Marketing”. I will be offering seminars in the Richmond, VA area soon on both topics. Your help getting the news out on this new website is greatly appreciated. Matt Davidson
20+ Ways to Grow Your Business or Organization in 2014
- Review Your Purpose Statement. Remember the main thing on your audience’s mind: “What’s in it for me?” Edit your message until you can get it into 140 characters so you can tweet it. That will create a better chance you can remember it. The purpose of e-mail and social media messages it to find new ways to restate your purpose as needs are identified.
2. Check your Vision Statement. Is it focused where it should be-making money? If not, look back over the success you have had and renew your vision of where your business needs to go. If you are not making money, you don’t have a business you have a hobby.
3. Is your Attitude what it should be? People like dealing with likable people. Some people need to find a different line of work but most need to learn to discipline their attitudes by daily renewing their minds. Getting your purpose and vision straight helps create a positive attitude. Being around positive people also helps as well.
4. Are you getting your message out effectively?
a. If not, what are you doing to use e-mail effectively? It is professional in appearance, done consistently, and shows you are the authority in your niche.
b. If not, what are you doing to use social media effectively? Do you use it to tell your story of who you are and what you have to benefit others? Does it educate and give a consistent call to action like e-mail me, retweet this, call me or click here.
c. If not, what about web sites and blogs? Are you updating them consistently with new statements about your purpose? Search engines like new content and consistent updates and will help you get found by the public. A blog helps you publish detailed information in a concise way and people will read it when they won’t take the time in an e-mail or on social media.
5. Is your face-to-face networking paying off in expanding your reach and adding to your contact list? If not, why not? Is it time to look for new groups? Use social media to build relationships with people you meet in networking groups. The best groups offer training in how to network, market, and sell.
6. Are you a consistent marketer? Updating your information in as many spots as you can will help you get noticed.
7. How is your commitment to your education? The only constant these days is change. Really smart people don’t learn from their mistakes, anyone can do that. They learn from other people and their mistakes so they are prepared. Pity the business people trying to “make it” on what worked 5-10-20 years ago. Is it time to change your ways?
8. What about identity marketing? Do you make it easy for people to know you and know what your brand is (what you do and how you do it)? Do you put your brand into words and present it in new creative ways. Find an expert and use them consistently.
9. What about relationship marketing? Can you look back at the end of each day and see a relationship that you either created or built on? If not that day was wasted and you will never get it back. Look for opportunities to create a “wow” moment with people. You will profit greatly in the long run.
10. Use graphics and video effectively. Keep in mind people are lazy and want you to show them your story rather than make them read it. Develop good media and find ways to repurpose it in web sites, blogs, e-mail newsletters and social media.
11. Join a marketing training association. The Internet is bringing a whole lot of changes to the business community, marketing is no different. It is impossible for everyone to keep up with all of them and especially the ones that increase revenue. Best strategy: join a group of people committed to working on how to grow their business. Many heads are better than one.
(Don’t have a group? Masters of Marketing will start a general meeting each first Wednesday starting Feb. 5. Details at www.growyourbusinesswithcc.com )
12. Take a self-improvement seminar. Three keys to success, Vision-Passion-Character which as all components in Commitment. Character means you are a person who keeps your word and when you say you will do something, you do it. No one is expected to be perfect, but people expect us to get our “act” together and try. No one expects perfect results, just perfect effort.
13. Develop a presentation about your business and market it to associations and other groups in your community. Many groups are looking for a speaker. It is referred to as “showcasing” your business. Don’t hard sell, educate if you want to be invited back. Don’t be afraid of free events but be sure you have fee based events planned you can invite people to attend. Don’t sell yourself too cheap. You have earned the right to speak, use it.
14. Get directly involved in a charity. Don’t just give your money but offer your expertise and experience. Find something you are passionate about and be committed to the cause. Don’t try to hard sell when in the volunteer role but look for opportunity to tell or show what you can do. Non-profits are realizing they need your expertise and more so now than ever before they are willing to give you exposure. Added benefit, you best the best people in the community when you volunteer with them.
15. Find someone to mentor. You have an obligation to pass on what you have learned to others and help them get started.
16. Create an infographic about your business or cause and upload it to your slideshare.com page.
a. Educate people about your business or cause
b. Focus on one important aspect of it.
c. Edit your ideas into a short message. People will only read for 3 minutes or less.
d. Organize your content into a visually appealing graphic with the most important idea for your audience described first.
e. Layout an eye catching design and use professional help is needed. Announce your achievement on your social media channels.
17. Use direct mail but use it correctly. Identify markets you want to impact and use targeted direct mail to attack them. They could be similar businesses or prospects in a geographical area. Follow-up meeting a suspect or prospect with a brief note delivered the next day if possible. Consistently use a hand written thank you note as a way to build a relationship stronger with a new client.
18. Trade shows can be a helpful way to get your message out. Look for ones where you will have limited or no competition for your product or service. Always consider risk vs. reward as far as what the benefit will be in relation to the cost of attending. Promoters are famous for exaggerated claims on attendance and exposure. If you do the show come prepared with attractive signage that can be seen from 25-30’ and a clear message on what you have to offer. When at the show devote your attention 100% to the show. Nothing turns people off faster than an exhibitor talking on the phone rather than greeting the attendees.
19. Your self-image is an important part of your selling persona. Part of your self-image has to do with how you perceive your body. Most people could afford to lose 20-25 pounds or more. In the hectic world of entrepreneurship, personal fitness is often overlooked. Take times during the day to exercise and it will help your attitude.
20. Signs are a helpful way to grow your business and can be as cheap as pennies or as expensive as many thousands of dollars. Important is to convey the points relevant to #1, “Purpose” and #2 “Vision” and be written from the prospects point of view.
21. Get to know your competitors as well as you know yourself. What have they done that you need to consider? Chances are if they are successful they have done many of the items listed in this report.
22. Recognize that customer service is still and always will be your most effective marketing tool. Happy customers tell others, unhappy customers tell even more. There are three levels of customer service, process, excellent service and distinction. Most businesses stop at a good way to process an order, few strive for excellence in customer service, and rare are the ones that seek distinction. Which one are you?
23. Take advantage of the most effective and valuable feedback you will get about your business by directly speaking to or communicating in some form with as many customers as possible. Customers who are already doing business with you will be able to tell you important specifics as to why they are customers as well as what they may need you to do for them to do more business.
1. Constant Contact is your “gateway” to the effective use of e-mail and social media. Resources include:
A. Seminars, “Grow Your Business with E-mail and Social Media” is offered several times a year. It is a 90 minute overview of how to get started. For times and places, see www.growyourbusinesswithcc.com
B. Webinars, Online at www.constantcontact.com both live and recorded
C. Workshops, “How to Create Your First E-mail Newsletter” is a three hour, “hand on” experience to get you started with e-mail marketing.
D. Blog, www.blogs.constantcontact.com will supply you with up to date information on how to use the Internet effectively to market yourself and your business. You will get 4-5 a day so toss the ones you aren’t interested in and save the rest in a file for later review.
E. “Engagement Marketing” by Gail Goodman, CEO of Constant Contact is a premier statement on what today’s business people need to know about marketing on the Internet. Find out what a “Wow!” moment is for your business and build your brand around it.
2. Scott McKain is today’s best resource on customer service and how to set your company apart from others that do what you do or the public thinks do what you do.
A. Books-“Create Distinction” and “Collapse of Distinction” are two key resources on how to achieve greatness in customer service.
B. Blog-see www.scottmckain.com to sign up for a daily dose of good advise.
C. Video-See http://www.YouTube.com for some classic video on customer service like the one featuring “Taxi Terry”
3. Video is another media channel you should not overlook to present your message. YouTube.com is your ally if you use it correctly to develop your brand.
Key resource: “Video Marketing for Dummies” by Betina Hind is more about marketing than the technology of video and will help you develop a strategy. Remember to sell yourself as well as your products and services.
4. Showcasing your business is not a nice “extra” in today’s market place. Find ways to get into the community and make presentations. Speaking for business oriented groups and helping Junior Achievement are two ways. Need help with public speaking? Look into Toastmasters in your area or the National Speaker’s Association (NSA) has been helpful to me. When you get into doing presentations, learn to use Prezi which can be done at minimal cost. See www.prezi.com and the book, “Prezi for Dummies” by Stephanie Diamond which is a great resource.
This document is not intended to ever be completed. If you have ideas to add, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org If you want a personal consultation, call me on 804-241-1152. Workshops on e-mail and social media will be offered in 2014 beginning on Jan. 11. My website, www.growyourbusinesswithcc.com lists what we have scheduled for the near future. If you are part of a group that wants to learn how to market your business, let’s “tailor” a training event just for you.