One of the biggest challenges for most new, and even many established businesses, is reaching and maintaining positive cash-flow. Start-ups are reminded at every step of the way that, “the first two years are the hardest”. And indeed they are. Naturally, then, we use as many free systems, services, and templates as we can and apply our own self-taught skills.
Because of that, I deeply value affordable, local workshops and seminars from experts. This summer, I attended several that focused on online marketing skills. Since each of them emphasised their information was non-proprietary and we should share it, I thought I would.
Callan Rush (www.callanrush.com), an American sales and marketing expert, whose 3-hour seminar was like a motivational speech, has three keywords for business owners on how to get and keep customers: Magnetise, Mesmerise, and Monetise.
Rush advises to use social media and ads etc. to magnetise your audience with interesting headlines, desirable content, and using the medium best suited for your intended audience. People want to be wowed, so you need to provide them with something interesting (mesmerise) that will draw them to your business (monetise).
According to a survey by Communicare, 70% of respondents say that poorly written communications make them less productive. (http://bit.ly/13LCxoq)
Rush suggests 5 key steps avoid falling in that category:
- Make It Into Their Inbox. Use an Internet service provider with good deliverability to avoid ending up in spam folders.
- Get Readers To Open Your Message. Write a hot subject line by using an:
a) Enrolling question: “Do you want to double your client base overnight?”. Who would say no to that?
b) Incomplete sentence: Our brain hates them! E.g. “Did you know 70% of biz owners don’t know ….?”.
c) Curiosity statement: Something that creates intrigue.
d) Numbered Sequenced Subject Line: e.g. “The Top 5 Marketing Mistakes”.
3. Check Your “From” Line. Your e-mail address should contain your personal name.
4. Read. Keep your message short, conversational, and to the point. Don’t write “Dear All” – make the reader feel addressed personally.
5. Clicks. Include a ‘click-through’ button that leads to your registration/purchase site, or website.
Various free software programs allow you to create slick e-mails and newsletters, with click-through buttons, and can track statistics, e.g. Aweber, MailChimp, and Constant Contact to name a few.
Social Media Marketing
According to Javed S. Khan of Empression (http://empression.ca), who presented at an (incredibly early!) breakfast networking meeting of the BNI Success Network in Scarborough, you need to make use of other free marketing tools as well. Khan says that good marketing is about eliciting a measurable response, e.g. a reader “Liking” your social media page, registering for something, or phoning you. Set measurable goals for your social media marketing, for example to reach X number of new clients, or to fill your next workshop. Additional tips for saving you time, while magnetising and mesmerising your audience:
- Include “social share buttons” so readers can directly reach your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn page etc.
- Repurpose campaigns: Use the longer version of your writ for a blog or an article, then a shorter version for your Facebook post, and a 140 character tease as your next tweet.
- Use photos.
- Don’t feel you need to be an expert on everything you share, just surround yourself with, or read and learn from experts. That’s what Oprah does!
- Use your e-campaigns not only to share content but also for thank you and happy holiday notes.
In case you were wondering how to even build a list of recipients for your e-campaigns, Lisa Kember, (gethyperactive.com) who spoke about Constant Contact at the big Summer Networking Bash at Ontario Place, recommends offering a prize draw or a free service to your existing network and through social media to obtain more names for your list.
She also suggests not hard-selling your business but yourself and your story. Kember points out that it is your attitude and your credibility that leads to your prospects’ confidence in you, your product or service. It is about showing you’re authentic. We are all human after all.
Martina Rowley is the founder and operator of Beach Business Hub – THE coworking space east of the Don Valley. She combined her passion and experience in the environmental sector with her community engagement side to create a local work environment where space and resources are shared. She fosters and facilitates collaboration, networking, and learning for and with small business owners and new startups. Contact her at:http://www.beachbusinesshub.ca, on Facebook and on Twitter