September 3, 2015
We get 500 emails a day, but it feels more like 5,000. So why should we open your email? Well, first, you should have some relevant content. Make sure you’re not sending too many emails with nothing to offer. Once you have some content, here is how you should subject your emails:
- Leave ’em wanting more. Creating some mystery in your email subject can improve open rate. Don’t reveal too much in the subject, but make sure to give them a hint! Be too vague and you’ll be ignored.
- Short and sweet. If your subject line is too long, people won’t bother to read them. Make your subject line relatively short, but impactful. Choose action words or interesting phrases to catch attentions.
- Interrupt. Using numbers (like “4” instead of “four”) interrupt readers normal skimming and slightly catch their attentions. Try using other symbols or punctuation to get your point across.
- Make it URGENT. Displaying a sense of urgency or curiosity invites people to open emails. Try starting with a question or time limit. This increases open rate because no one don’t want to miss out.
- Emotional appeal. Try to make your subject line emotional in some way. Connect the reader to your email by personalization or localization. People are more likely to open specific emails rather than general ones.
Email marketing can be tough. When less than half of your email base ever even opens your emails, you may feel like giving up. Don’t! Just change up your email subject lines to encourage open rates!
How do you create email subject lines?
August 20, 2015
Why blend in when you can stand out? To set yourself apart from your competitors, it’s important to advertise your differences and benefits. Your customers won’t know how innovative and successful your business is if you don’t tell them. So don’t be afraid to show it off! Here are 5 ways to standout from the crowd.
- Become a thought leader. Your industry could use one more thought leader, so make sure it’s you! Publish your content on a blog and create a newsletter to get your name out there. Meaningful and relevant content go a long way.
- Raise the bar. Do some research and one-up your competition. Make your business the standard in your industry and leave the competition playing catch up. Position yourself as cutting edge.
- Go above and beyond. Going the extra mile for a client can make all the difference. Show them you care about them as an individual. They’ll take notice and recommend you to their connections.
- Focus on the experience. From the first time the client looks at your website or social media sites, to the follow up survey they take after you have done your job, it’s important to make sure the customer is having a good experience. Every time the client comes in contact with your business it affects their overall perception of you. Make sure it’s a good one.
- Make them look. Be creative with your marketing. Think outside the box when it comes to email newsletters and traditional mailers. Think about what will get their attention and put your business in their head first.
Don’t get lost in the crowd of businesses, standout! Your clients will thank you, your employees will thank you, and your industry will thank you.
How do you standout from the crowd?
August 6, 2015
You do this everyday, all the time. You’re always talking to people; when you order your coffee and when you see the mailman. You talk when you call your sister and you thank your babysitter. But most of all you talk when you’re at work. I know what you’re thinking: practice makes perfect so I’m all set. That’s not always the case. Plus there’s always room for improvement! Here are some ways to master the art of conversation.
- Start small. Don’t rush into a conversation with serious, heavy topics. Stick with the weather or another non-threatening topic. But don’t make it too obvious, small talk can be annoying.
- The customer is always right. When you’re talking to someone, try not to correct them. Even if you mean it in the best way, they’ll think you’re rude. It’s best to let it go.
- Ask questions. Most people enjoy talking about themselves, so ask questions! People love to talk about themselves, so let them! They’ll walk away feeling like they had a great conversation with you.
- Pay attention. Actually listen to what the other person is saying. This may sound obvious, but if you get caught not listening you look bad. Put your phone away and really concentrate.
- Make a connection. Relate to the other person by sharing an experience or feeling. This makes the conversation meaningful and you more likable. Find some common ground to bring you together.
- What you’re not saying. Be aware of your body language. Looking away or at your watch makes people feel like you’re not really listening. Use your hands when you talk to show enthusiasm instead of crossing your arms. You look more friendly this way.
- Know when it’s over. Listen for cues (or use them yourself!) to know when the conversation is coming to an end. Phrases like “I should let you go” or “It was great to see you” signal it’s time to get out of there. Say your goodbyes and get on your way.
With all the technology we’re used to, it can be hard to remember how to have a good conversation. Hopefully these tips will help you on your way to mastering the art of conversation!
What are your tips for mastering the art of conversation?
July 23, 2015
Are you looking to grow your business? Well you’re in the right place. It can be hard to get out of your routine and try to expand your talents. So to help, we’ve put together 4 easy ways to grow your business.
- Do your research. If you’re reading this blog, then you’ve already started #1. Research how other people are growing their businesses; there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. If you can come up with some ideas, great. But remember there are a lot of people out there with great ideas they are willing to share.
- Target new markets. A great way to build your business is exploring different markets for your business. Think about opportunities to reach out to a different group of people. You never know who’s out there with a need for your product.
- Develop your website. We can’t emphasize this enough. Having a professional, updated website is crucial for growing your business. This is how many new clients will discover your business. You want your first impression to blow them away.
- Set goals. Make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. Having SMART goals will keep you on track for building up your business. Without set goals, it can be hard to accomplish what you want.
Your business is fine, but you want it to be great. Use these tips to build your business and grow into whatever you set your mind to.
How did you grow your business?
July 9, 2015
First things first: what is a webinar? You’ve probably heard the term, but you may be wondering what it means. According to Dictionary.com, a webinar is “a seminar or other presentation that takes place on the Internet, allowing participants in different locations to see and hear thepresenter, ask questions, and sometimes answer polls.” You can use webinars to connect with potential clients and market yourself while proving your knowledge and expertise at the same time. Here are some tips to make a successful webinar.
- Start with the topic. Try to make the event as exciting as possible. This is where you might need to get creative. Not everyone thinks the best way to spend an hour is to listen to a seminar about financial planning. So jazz it up a little. Think of an interesting title and bring a lot of energy.
- Keep them involved. Consider allowing the audience to ask questions during the webinar instead of after. Include a poll to keep the audience involved and paying attention.
- Give them homework. Make sure you end your webinar with an action that the audience should take. This will keep them involved after the session. Make sure to provide contact information for your business and the speaker.
- Promote the heck out of it. Putting on a good show is only half the battle. You don’t want to create a great webinar and have no audience. Make sure you think about how people will find out about your session. Share it on social media and email blasts along with other types of promotion.
Use these tips when creating your webinar to get the most out of your time and energy!
What are your tips for creating a webinar?
June 25, 2015
You want to market your small business. You don’t really know where to start, so you ask the internet for help. After reading countless articles called “Tips for Marketing your Small Business” and “10 Tips you Need to Read” you feel prepared to take on this task. But are you really ready? To be successful in marketing, you need more than tips. You need a plan.
- Just add water. Unfortunately, one good marketing idea is not going to cut it. There isn’t an instant tip that will increase sales in your business. You can, however, make a strategy to incorporate long term and short term marketing goals (check out this article we posted) and your target audience.
- Step by step. List out all the steps you need to take in order to reach your goals. This is where tips can come in handy. Your tips will allow you to make the steps to your strategy more effective. It may seem tedious, but it will really help you in the long run.
- Practice makes perfect. Eventually, if you continue your marketing strategy, it will become second nature. You’ll know exactly what you have to do to get a new client or make another sale. And you’ll have a step by step list to refer back to if need be.
Creating a marketing plan isn’t easy but it can (and should) be done. Take all the tips you’ve collected and use them to strategize your marketing. You’ll be glad you did.
How did you create a marketing plan?
May 28, 2015
The time has come. You’re staring at your office phone knowing what you have to do. You start thinking of any and all of the “more important” things you should do first: maybe you should clean out your inbox or you haven’t organized your top drawer in who knows how long. What you should really be doing is making prospective sales calls. But it’s hard. It’s scary. You’re afraid of rejection. Here are 6 tips to overcome the fear of sales rejection.
- Be prepared. Cold calling a customer can be scary, but it can be even scarier to freeze up on the phone and not know what to say. Avoid this by preparing your materials ahead of time. Gather up offers and really know what you’re selling. This will give you confidence that you know your stuff.
- Have goals. This goes for long and short term sales goals. Think about why you want to reach these goals and use that motivation to pick up the phone. If you’re working towards something bigger, you’ll stay more focused on the task.
- It’s not you, it’s me. In most situations, this is actually the case. Maybe you caught the customer on their busiest day of the week, or the person you called doesn’t have the authority to make decisions. Whatever the real reason, don’t take rejection personally. Many people will say no, but you’re working towards that one yes.
- Plan. Dedicate a specific time every day to make sales calls. Once you get into a routine, it won’t be so scary and daunting. You know that right before lunch you make a few calls, or at 3pm every day. This will put sales calls onto your calendar and force you to practice and become more comfortable.
- No doesn’t mean never. Just because you get a rejection now, doesn’t mean that person will never be a customer. Try to find out why they’re really saying no, and remember that for next time. Try to have a conversation and keep your notes. This will help build a relationship the next time you call.
- What’s the worst that can happen? Think about it. The worst that happen is they’ll say no. That’s it. You’re not getting fired, you’re still breathing, and the world is still turning. All you have to do is call up the next one on your list. It’s that simple.
It can be really hard to overcome the fear of rejection. But remember, you’re going to be rejected. That’s inevitable. The real success is brushing it off and moving forward. If you don’t ask, no one will ever say yes.
How do you deal with rejection?
April 30, 2015
You’re torn. You don’t know whether to invest in long term marketing strategy for the future or short term marketing for tomorrow. Well lucky for you, you can do a little of both. It’s best not to abandon your short term marketing and only work on long term strategies, but you need to remember to work on long term as well. Here are some long term and short term marketing strategies you can work on together.
- Advertisements. Create an advertisement that doesn’t run too long. Run the add online or in a local newspaper. Since the ad is short term, you can include promotional material relevant to your business at that time.
- Attend Events. Go to networking events in your local area. This is will get your name out there and you can get some connections. Make sure you regularly attend all different types of events.
- Get People Talking. Make sure you ask your current clients to refer you (politely of course). Hoping that clients will talk you up is good, but asking them is better.
- Website. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: websites are extremely important. Make sure you’re making the proper investment in your digital reputation. It might take a while to make it what you want, but it’s worth the time to make it right.
- SEO. If people can’t find you, they can’t hire you. So make sure you are investing in SEO. There are plenty of companies who can help you with search engine optimization, and it’s becoming more important every day.
- Database. Start creating an email database. After you have a fair number of clients on the list, start sending out monthly emails with relevant content. This will keep you fresh in their minds.
Long term and short term marketing has to be a balance in your business. Work on your short term marketing for tomorrow, but don’t forget about long term for next year.
How do you balance your short term and long term marketing?
November 13, 2014
Every time you look for potential business or new customers, you are prospecting for your business. While you may not find gold, you just might find some great clients if you play your cards right. Here are some tips for making your prospecting as successful as possible.
- Digital interaction. Connect with a potential client on LinkedIn. Retweet something they posted on Twitter. Comment on their LinkedIn articles. These small interactions will get you on a customer’s radar and build a relationship before you even talk to them.
- Make a plan. Thinking out your prospecting will make it much easier to keep yourself organized. Schedule time every day to investigate new clients and do research. Taking it in smaller doses can make prospecting less daunting.
- Stick to what you know. Focus your efforts on what you do best. If you are really experienced in email marketing, use that to your advantage! Just make sure you don’t get stuck. Make sure you try new ways of prospecting, too. You never know what might work.
- Think about your words. No matter how many people you call or emails you send, if you aren’t using the right language you’ll never make connections. Really focus on the words you choose, you might only have a few seconds to get someone’s attention.
- Remember it takes time. Sometimes you meet the right person at the right time, but most cold calls don’t end in an appointment. Build up relationships a little at a time to create trust with potential clients. Customers want to work with people they know, so keep in touch to remain in contact with prospects.
Prospecting isn’t always easy. It takes time and practice, just like everything else! If you focus your efforts and take time to plan, you can make the most of your prospecting and have the greatest success.
What are some ways you prospect?
October 2, 2014
You may have heard in your days as a professional the 80/20 rule. But what exactly is this mysterious concept? How can I use it to my advantage. How can it affect me? First, let’s look at what the 80/20 rule really is. In 1906, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto noticed that 80% of the wealth in a free market economy is held by 20% of the people. The 80/20 rule (or Pareto’s Principle) has since been applied to many other parts of business. For example, 20% of the work for a project would take 80% of your time. Pareto’s Principle basically states that 20% is vital, while 80% is typically trivial. So that’s all well and good, but how can I use this knowledge to further myself and my business?
- Prioritize your day. Understanding the 80/20 rule lets you know that 20% of your day produces 80% of your successes. Figure out what that 20% is and really focus on it. Make sure that the important 20% gets done, even if you have to let some of the 80% fall by the wayside.
- Know your markets. If 80% of your profits come from 20% of your customer base, maybe you can change that. Figure out where your niche is and possibly expand your market to the other 80% of customers. Creating a wide target market can be beneficial for your business.
- Understand your investments. Specifically in marketing, about 80% of your results come from 20% of your marketing messages. Recognizing which messages people respond to will help you eliminate less successful campaigns.
These are just a few ways in which to use the 80/20 rule in your daily life. There are countless other areas where Pareto’s Principle can be applied, and you can find them! Keep the 80/20 rule in the back of your mind to strategize your day, or your business!
How do you use the 80/20 rule in your life?