DIY Marketing Or Hire A Professional?

DIY Marketing Or Hire A Professional?

Marketing Strategy, Tips and Tools
Are you a solopreneur and/or small business owner running your business all on your own? Are you functioning as your own marketing department, learning as you go, reading books, subscribing to marketing newsletters, experimenting with trial-and-error marketing tactics? So you can do your own marketing, after all, your efforts seem to be working. My question to you is... Should you be doing your own marketing?   Marketers make marketing look easy, key word being ‘look’. Experienced marketers can discuss procedures, processes, strategy and measurable results as easily as they can discuss what they ate for breakfast. If you've ever had a conversation with me, you know what I mean. It's similar to the artist that makes a brush stroke look fluid and effortless, and yet when you try your hand…
Read More

Define Your Target Market First, Then Decide Where To Market

Marketing Strategy, Tips and Tools
Many times business owners shell out cash for marketing and then wonder why they’re not getting business. Before you throw another dollar in the wind, ask yourself: who is your target market? Then you need to figure out how much time and money you have to spend to reach them. I made that sound real simple didn’t I? Here’s the two-fold scenario: First, define your target market. This includes Key decision makers for purchasing your product or service Where your customers look for and buy your product/service Customers' buying habits and buying cycles Factors that influence purchasing decisions – don’t just assume price is the primary reason Next, determine how much money and time you have to spend to reach your target Can you reach them by joining industry organizations?…
Read More
Handwritten Notes, Smartphones, and Marketing Basics

Handwritten Notes, Smartphones, and Marketing Basics

Tips and Tools
It’s time to recharge your business! Since I’m a marketing strategist, I blog about marketing related topics like social media, branding, networking, etc. However, I find it just as challenging to manage my time with working on my business and in my business as you do. In other words, doing it all! So I figured, why not get back to the marketing basics, a business refresher of sorts? So many professionals focus exclusively on pushing sales that they neglect basic behind-the-scenes details of running a business. Here are few basic to-do's you can work on today: Handwritten Notes, Smartphones, and Marketing Basics Make sure your business card/marketing collateral is up to date and keep stashes everywhere. If you're tired of looking at that same biz card, buy some new ones! There are…
Read More

Lay the Groundwork to Define Your Brand

Branding, Marketing Strategy, Tips and Tools
Let’s define the word BRAND as it relates to your company. In a nutshell, a brand has to convince me to spend my money, time and effort with you and not your competitor. Think about iconic brands like Starbucks, Ferrari, ESPN, and Neiman Marcus. When you hear the names of these companies you immediately think of a host of attributes for each of them. Well, it’s their BRAND you’re thinking of! Now do you understand why your brand is so important, and why you need to manage your company’s brand? Good, we’re on the same page. Consider these criteria to start defining your brand: Company name: does it say anything / mean anything to your ideal client? Is it easy to remember? Hard to pronounce? Keep in mind, you can leverage…
Read More
Working Full Time and Part Time Can Work!

Working Full Time and Part Time Can Work!

Tips and Tools
I try to start every work day by reading a thought-provoking business article of inspiration to get me motivated. This morning was no exception, and I was inspired to deliver this quick post. I work at a full-time corporate job while running my consulting business part-time and have done so for several years. It is with this arrangement that I have been able to meet some fascinating people and explore so many opportunities that I wouldn't have been able to leverage as easily otherwise. All the while I have been able to hone my leadership skills while managing other people's schedules, projects, and implementing their strategic objectives. I still find time to volunteer time as a mentor, committee member, etc. as I connect the dots between my day job, consulting biz, and personal passions. You'll never…
Read More

Marketing Budget Mindset: Tightwad or Splurger?

Tips and Tools
For some reason, when people are starting a new business venture, they usually fall into two camps when it comes to marketing budgets: tightwads or splurgers. Typically, the tightwads don’t want to spend money on anything, thinking their grand business concept will appeal to everyone and magically lead all these fascinated customers straight to their sales door. At the other extreme are the splurgers, who throw money at their new concept and buy a bunch of promotional items they call “marketing” with the business name plastered all over everything. If I gave you a keychain with my business name on it, how can you possibly NOT buy something from me? Yes, I'm being sarcastic. If you even remotely recognize yourself as falling into one of these categories, listen up: run to the…
Read More
Solopreneurs Need Staff Meetings Too!

Solopreneurs Need Staff Meetings Too!

Tips and Tools
Yes, the title is an oxymoron, but indulge me for a moment. This post came about because I am often asked how I keep track of all the different aspects of running a business as a solopreneur. As a solopreneur you're pretty much responsible for wearing EVERY hat in the company - accounting, marketing, IT, snacks - you already know this. As I started attending more events, growing the biz and just getting busier, I needed to get a better handle on all the different aspects of running my business, not just "get the client and do the work". Sound familiar?? One day I'll grow to the point where I need to hire employees. In the meantime, I needed a way to organize all the "departments" in my business. This got…
Read More
5 Tips To Freshen Up Your Business

5 Tips To Freshen Up Your Business

Tips and Tools
As any entrepreneur can tell you, there are always outstanding tasks that can easily take control of your day: last-minute meetings, unexpected phone calls, tech nightmares, places to go, blog posts to schedule, etc. Unfortunately, many biz owners never actually schedule time to work on their own business, always working on client projects or participating in activities that just don't fall into the productive category. With this in mind, and having to 'fess up to my own challenges for the first quarter, I figured I'd share my top 5 tips to freshen up your business and get back on track: Review your networking activities for the quarter. Where did you go, who did you talk to, how did you benefit? Did you walk away with business cards, flyers, miscellaneous notes, souvenirs, etc. that you…
Read More