Niche Marketing Impacts Time

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niche marketingLast week we talked about the 8-second attention span and I got lots of great feedback on that post. Now, this week I want to talk in more detail about niche marketing and why it’s so crucial in our busy and over-connected world. However, in this post I’m going to take a little bit of a different approach and talk about the big picture.

What’s the one thing that we can’t seem to get enough of?

I’ll give you a hint – it’s something that even though it’s very expensive, it never seems to be properly valued by its owner.

Okay, I will tell you.

The answer is TIME. Our time is very expensive.

Here’s a question for you, do you know what your time costs? I know what mine costs and it’s a factor that I use to make my decisions every day. So what does time have to do with niche marketing? Everything!

One of the things that holds back a new entrepreneur is not knowing exactly what to do and spending time on the wrong things. They typically know what they want the outcome to be (independent wealth :-)). However, they just don’t know how to get there. What stumps them is a few different things. First off, if they’re bootstrapping, they’re not investing any real money in the business which means they have to do a lot of the runt work themselves – which slows growth and profitability. Secondly, they tend to run a business without any sort of real plan of action, which consequently, also slows growth. Then you have the impact of making bad decisions which costs money and also, once again, delays growth.

However

If an experienced and really smart person told them step-by-step exactly what to do, as long as they did it, they could eliminate some costly mistakes and make the gap between start up and profitability much smaller.

Niche Marketing works the same way.

The longer you’re not focused and taking action, the more money you’re losing. Tweet this!

How Niche Marketing Impacts Time

When it takes less time to get a new customer that saves money. If you want to get new customers faster choose a lane. Pick an area of expertise and absolutely kill it. Determine a client or customer profile, then live and breath them. Know what their needs are, their habits, their obstacles, what keeps them up at night, and everything in between. Then align your expertise or product with that client profile. The next step is to become a very valuable resource and a leader.

Stay very focused on your target market and your vision. The mindset is, instead of chasing prospects down, they’re drawn to you. Let me tell you, this works. I have built a very profitable practice with this strategy. I love this quote by Tony Hsieh of Zappos, “Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.” Tweet this!

The hang up is we think hmmm…… if we focus over here, what are we missing over there? People are so afraid that they’re going to miss an opportunity that they try to be everything to everybody.

Meanwhile, they’re on the hamster wheel, robbing-peter-to pay-paul, being the jack-of-all-trades. Guess what? They’re wasting time. Time that they could have been profitable if they just would have chosen something, mastered it, and rode it for the long haul.

Are you selling to everyone? How’s that working out for you?

If you need some help picking a niche market I just launched a new training product that’s absolutely free! Click here to check it out.

Hey, if you don’t mind would you give my free training a tweet out? I would love it!  Give it a Tweet shout out! 

 

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Entrepreneur Education – Take a Time Out

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entrepreneur educationOne thing you lose a little bit of when you become an entrepreneur is looking forward to the weekend. What’s a weekend right? Once you step outside the protection of the cube and decide to tough-it, the weekend loses its magic a little. I however, do get very excited as Friday rolls near.

I’ve declared Friday as MY day.

It’s the day I put ALL client work aside and think about my own business. If I’m feeling really worn down it may be a day for a little retail therapy, going to see a movie (there’s nothing more pleasurable than going to see a movie when the rest of the world is at work), or what I did a few weeks ago, back-to-back episodes of I Love Lucy on the tube under a blanket with a pint of chubby-hubby. 

If hard-pressed I will do a little business – but I always set strict boundaries because I look so forward to the time every week.

Entrepreneur Education – You Must Repair Yourself

When I was a rookie I didn’t have the sense to stop and repair myself. I just ran myself ragged until I was depressed, stressed-out and discouraged. You know what happens then? Absolutely nothing. It’s almost like your business is in some sort of time warp. The feeling I get reminds me of that really high-pitched sound that used to be on television when the scheduled programming ran out. The very alarming, loud, but consistent pitch. If you’re old enough and know what I’m talking about, when the sound came on did you ever find yourself just frozen, sitting there starring at it? “Oh no, TV just ended, now what?” I’ve known people that are like that with their business. They’re just frozen in it.

Entrepreneur Education – Nothing is Worse Than Being Frozen

I would rather see an entrepreneur make a 100 mistakes than to see them being frozen. Indecision is the worst plague of all. If you’re making mistakes at least you’re moving and you’re learning. If you’re indecisive and can’t move, you will stay in exactly the same place. So if you’re not making the money in your business that you need – nothing changes. If you’re not happy in your job – nothing changes. Sometimes I think that people rely on miracles way too much! 

“Never mistake motion for action.” – Ernest Hemingway

Entrepreneur Education – The Thaw

How do you fix it? How do you break the cycle? How do you move forward?

You need a Friday! You need some time-out in your business that’s just for you to collaborate with your thoughts. If you say I can’t afford that. My response is do you realize how much money you’re spending being frozen? What about the money it’s costing not being productive and going forward in your business?

Even if its just a few hours a week, take time out to decide what you need to do to move forward. Once you make that decision then come up with a step-by-step action plan. Then by all means do it immediately, it’s time for action. Do you need a thaw? What’s your plan of action?

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Entrepreneur Education – The Power of Email Marketing

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entrepreneur educationLast week’s Entrepreneur Education segment of Marketing Pie was about the importance of building a list. It was probably the highest read email I’ve done in quite sometime. That tells me a couple of things about my readership – first of all you know how important it is, and secondly perhaps you haven’t done the best job of doing it. Hey, that’s okay – I’m not here to judge – I’m here to help point you in the right direction. I do want to tell you though – if you continue to not build your list, you’re literally throwing money down the toilet.

Entrepreneur Education – Use Email Marketing to Attract Clients

My email marketing efforts literally catapulted my business. As my audience grew, my reach grew, and as my reach grew so did my opportunities. Suddenly, I didn’t have to hit the pavement – people were coming to me. You see, sales is a hard job. You have to prove to people that you have a good product or service that serves their needs. You have to convince them however, to first give you their time (no easy task) before you can actually prove that point. Now, you can hit the pavement and dial for dollars if you want, but I however, prefer a different approach. I prefer for my prospect to come to me.

Entrepreneur Education – 6 Compelling Reasons for Email Marketing

1. Stay in Front of Your Customers and Prospects – Selling is about timing, theirs not yours, and you never know when that time is so that’s why you stay in front of your client or prospect and when the time comes you’ll be first on their mind.

2. Cross-selling and Product Launching – You know where your best sales opportunities are? Clients and customers you already have! Do they know everything you do? When you come out with a new product or service guess who is the best candidate to buy? Yes! People you’ve already sold to, like and trust you!

3. Gage the Needs of Your Audience – This is probably one of my favorite uses of email marketing. Email marketing creates reports whereas you can see how many times your email was opened and who opened it the most etc. This is a great way to figure out what are the top concerns of your audience and what they’re most interested in.

Newsflash – It doesn’t really matter what YOU want to sell. What matters is what your TARGET wants to buy. 


When I wrote my book, Yanking Bootstraps – Bootstrap Your Business to Success, I used my email newsletters as a tool to see what my readers would respond the best to. I looked back over a year of email newsletters and that gave me the best map to writing a book for entrepreneurs. Now THIS is market research!

4. Sing for Your Supper – Earlier I mentioned about how I like to bring my prospects to me. Let me tell you how that works! Email marketing can allow you a medium to be an expert in your field. Find out exactly what it is that your target market needs to know (thats relevant to you that is) and be a resource for them. Create great content that serves as a very important resource to your market. This is how you’ll grow your credibility and trust as an expert in your field. When people trust you – they buy from you.

5. Creating a Pipeline – This particular avenue works best for the Business to Business model. Do you have a list of your top prospects? How about sending them out great emails on a regular basis that serves as a resource for them? Then when you’re reviewing your open reports you can see who opened it the most. Then reach out to that person and just offer a little hello – because sometimes it takes that. Had you rather be calling people that don’t know you from Adam or had you rather have warm leads from people that know who you are and are engaging with what you’re saying?

6. Bring in Traffic to Your Store or Website – Now this works best for a Shiny Bauble Businesses (Retail – handbags, shoes, art etc.) You can offer great deals, special sales, and discounts that can literally increase traffic to your store or website in one click! However, the website traffic factor works for ANY business. The day I send out my newsletter – my website traffic triples.

If you’re not using email marketing I sure hope I’ve provided a powerful argument as to why you should be doing it.

Cheers!

Tammy

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Entrepreneur Education – How to Build a List

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How to Build a ListI made a ton of mistakes in the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey.

As a matter of fact in my book Yanking Bootstraps – Bootstrap Your Business to Success, I dedicated a whole chapter to them! Many of those mistakes I’m actually glad I made due to the lessons learned. However, there  a few that absolutely no good came from and I deeply regret. The mistake at the top of the heap is not focusing and growing my list from hello. I didn’t know how to build a list and I didn’t know how crucial it was. Then, when I did find out – I put it on the bottom of my priorities. This costed me a lot of money. Building a list is something that takes a ton of time, you don’t just snap your fingers and have one. That’s why delaying it – is literally delaying profits. I’m not lonely in this regret, virtually every entrepreneur I’ve ever worked with shares it with me.

How to Build a List – The Money Left on the Table

Your list is the core of profitability in your business. You need to have a list of customers that have already done business with you and a list of prospective customers that at some point, given the right circumstances, will buy from you.

A Golden Rule of Selling: Selling is about timing – your customer’s timing – not yours. We never know when that time is going to be. That’s why we should always be in front of prospective customers, reminding them of what we can do for them once the time is right. 

Right away from the beginning start compiling the list and make sure you put it in a very safe place – in a database and an email platform. If you say, “Tammy, my business is tiny and I don’t really have anyone to put on the list.” This is the best time to start the process of building your list! Set up an email platform and start collecting those names and emails!

When I start working with a business one of the first steps is securing the customers/clients they already have. I’ve been involved in projects whereas the business was several years old and they never kept a good record of their list. It’s very tedious, time-consuming, and sometimes painful to have to go back through everything and build their list. So do it now! I will also tell you if you’re one of those that have waited so long that the work it will take is too hard – every customer that I put through this exercise created revenue from the endeavor. It’s worth the pain. Also, let’s face it, business can be a little tough these days, can you really afford to leave revenue on the table just because you don’t want to face the task?

How to Build a List – Retail – Shiny Bauble Business

If you sell handbags, shoes, jewelry or anything like that – I refer to those businesses as a shiny bauble business. You have more of a wow-factor going for you when it comes to marketing. If you have a brick and mortar or even an Internet-based business, you’ll get tremendous value with email marketing which is why it’s crucial to stay on top of your list building. Make sure you’re constantly growing it. There should be a place on your website that’s one of the first things a visitor sees that says “join our email list for special offers” or something to that effect. Every time someone buys from you or just comes to browse, you need to get their email address. It’s a great idea to make sure that you make special offers that are for your email list only. This not only creates an incentive for someone to sign up for your list but it also creates a sense of urgency to buy. If used correctly, a great email marketing strategy WILL bring traffic and revenue to your store. I personally guarantee it! If you’re not doing this – you’re literally passing up revenue.

How to Build a List – Retail – Business to Consumer

In this scenario you’re targeting the consumer but your business may be more of a need purchase instead of a want. I have a client that owns a handyman business so we’ll use them in this example. Once they do business with someone they should stay in touch because there will always be more repairs that need to be done to their home. Thing is, as I pointed out we don’t know when that time will be. So they have to constantly stay in touch with their list so when they do need their service – they’re top of mind.

How to Build a List – Business to Business

In this scenario your business model will greatly determine the strategy you’ll use to get someone to sign up for your list. Your business model will also determine how you’ll use email marketing. For a B to B business you may not necessarily have the advantage of offering a sale of the day – but that’s okay because you have another objective. You’re building a pipeline. You should be generating great content that serves as solutions to your target market’s problems. In addition you should create an incentive to get your ideal clients to sign up for your list. Perhaps a free EBook for example?

When you send out email marketing to your target list you’re able to generate tracking reports. These reports tell you who opened your newsletter and how many times. This report of proven engagement is a great tool for prospecting.

Next week’s Marketing Pie will be about Email Marketing and how to use it strategically to grow your business.

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Entrepreneur Education -Web Design Fail and How to Avoid It

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entrepreneur educationSometimes when I’m talking about web design I sort of feel like how Noah must have felt. He was telling people the flood was coming and to get on the ark. Everyone thought he was crazy and didn’t listen.

Now here we are in the age of technology and everything is changing at an accelerated pace. The way we communicate and do business changes very quickly. People are starting to realize the error of their ways.

Did you know that there are over 6 million searches for the words “web design” on the Internet in 30 days?

The crazy thing is, over half the people that do invest in a website will make very bad decisions about the entire process. Some their own fault – and some not, when you’re not educated at something it happens.

The Major Problems with Web Design

There’s major fault both on the web developer and the person that hires them. First, the developer doesn’t typically know anything about business profitability. They don’t know anything about YOUR business. More importantly they don’t know how to attract your target market. Also, for the most part, MANY developers don’t know the first thing about search engine optimization. They claim to, and because the consumer isn’t educated, the truth goes unseen (until it’s too late).

Note: I am not talking about ALL developers – just most that I personally or my clients have encountered – so no hate emails please!

The faults of the consumer are just as severe. They focus on all the wrong things. They focus too much on esthetics and not enough on strategy. They build a website for themselves based on their own likes and in many cases don’t even consider their target market. They don’t consider what their target needs, and what they’re actually searching for. Or perhaps they’re skimping on the expense of their website. Uncle Bill whose a plumber during the day offers to build them a website for $200 and the consumer thinks they just saved a ton of money. Guess what? The joke is on them because they just costed themselves a ton of money in lost sales!

The consumer doesn’t realize that for a website to be found on the Internet it has to be searchable. For it to be searchable there has to be a search engine strategy.

Another huge consideration is first the Internet is very crowded and secondly the searcher has a very short attention span (8 seconds). So the searcher is on their handheld and wants to find what they’re looking for yesterday. So needless to say if your website is not on the first page of the search, it’s a lost cause.

The consumer doesn’t know the right questions to ask – so they don’t get the right answers. Sooner or later they’ll find out their website is a fail.

Web Design Considerations

We’re now on the cusp of a mobile society. Over the past 3 months I’ve read several articles about the plunging sales of desktop computers. The IPad is replacing the desktop and over 65% of Internet searches are conducted with a handheld device.

How do YOU get information from the Internet? If you answer with your handheld – guess what? So is everyone else. So let me ask you how does your website look on your handheld? What does your visitor see?

Website design is now very minimal. It’s about clean space that translates very well to a handheld device, a clear path of what you want your target market to do once they come to your website, and a clear strategy of how you’ll get them to opt in and join your email list.

How to Avoid Bad Web Design

To avoid bad website decisions you must first accept it’s true responsibility. A website is not just a point of reference to prove that you have a legitimate business – it’s a point of profitability!

Just like a blueprint comes before a house is built – a strategy needs to be planned out before a website is built. Who is your ideal client? What do they type into the search when they’re looking for what you do? You should have a full blown search strategy intact.

Next remember that your searcher has an 8-second attention span. How are you going to interest them at hello and keep them there on your site long enough to either purchase from you or join your list?

What is your list building strategy? On the front page of your website should be a place for your visitor to join. How will you get them to sign up?

What do you want the visitor to do when they get there? If you say buy, then make sure there is a clear path that makes them understand that and don’t make it complicated. Nobody has the patience for complicated anymore (remember 8 seconds).

Make sure that your website is very clean, easy to read, easy to navigate, the searcher finds what they need quickly and above ALL it must be mobile-friendly.

You should have all these things in check before you contact a web developer and instruct them properly – it’s up to you to manage this process if you want your website to be a success.

I hope this will encourage you to review your website and make some changes in 2014 so you can turn your website into a tool that creates profit for your business!

Cheers!
Tammy

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