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Does your small business need a marketing campaign?

You know how it’s literally impossible to be complety done with laundry or dishes for more than say an hour.

When you run a business marketing is a lot like that. No matter how much you do, as soon as you’re ‘done’ there’s somehow magically more to do.

The act of doing laundry isn’t all that hard (throw clothes in the wash machine, add detergent, cycle, throw in the dyer, fold, put away). But, it’s time consuming and increadibly annoying that by the time the last pair of jeans gets hung  (yes, now I’m hanging my jeans) there’s somehow more clothes in the dirty clothes basket.

Which is discouraging because for the love of organization and procrastination laundry and dishes seem to take up an inordinate amount of time. If there was a magic wand that could eliminate dirty laundry and dishes for an entire week, I’m positive I would be about 1,000x more productive.

Which is how marketing feels to a lot of small business owners. It’s. Always. There. Hanging over you. Making you feel like no matter how much you do, you’re simply not done. Ever.

Which is why marketing campagins are essential. They channel your energy, dollars, creativity and activity around a single goal for a defined period of time.

Which not only makes every action you take more effective, but also gives you the satisfaction of checking marketing off the list from time to time so you can focus on other important areas of your business without worrying about it.

In this week’s coffee talk I address:

  • Why you don’t need a million dollars to run a successful marketing campaign
  • How many campaigns I recommend small businesses execute each year
  • A real life example of what a marketing campaign looks like for a small business
  • How you can start building a marketing campaign for your business today
  • My favorite day of the year & one word I struggle to say

Let’s talk marketing campaigns ~ do small businesses need them? Do you use them in your video. And hold tight for the first 30 seconds or so while I get the lighting dialed in. Technology is not my jam.

Posted by Time to Profit on Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Want to participate in Coffee Talk Live? Join the Time to Profit Facebook group.

As a business owner – you are in sales

As a business owner – you are in sales.

I define sales as the act of engaging in persuading, influencing, and convincing others to trade something they value in return for something else that they value more. 

If you’re not willing to sell, you can’t generate consistent revenue.

So don’t shy away from the process of selling.

If you don’t like sales, figure out why and then find a way to like.

If you don’t know how to sell, get some help.

If you’re scared, do it anyway.

If you don’t like to talk about money, get your money mindset in order.

But only if you want to succeed.

I was talking with a client this week about what she would do if she had to get 3 clients in the next 30 days. Gun to her head – had to figure it out.  She told me she would post on LinkedIn.  For her business, this isn’t a bad tactic.

The challenge is, it’s passive and it depends on the prospect taking action. Which isn’t ideal when it comes to generating consistent revenue.

Yes – we all want to a create businesses that our clients are so excited about that they willingly and consistently take action.

But here’s the others side – it’s vulnerable to ask for help. It’s hard to admit you don’t know something.

It’s hard to admit you want something but aren’t sure exactly what you need. Nobody wants to ask the price of something and then realize they can’t afford it. Nobody is excited to buy something they aren’t sure will work for them.

Have you ever walked into a fancy boutique and wanted to ask a question, but didn’t want to feel stupid?

Or maybe you were getting a facial and wanted something to help with your chronic dry skin but felt silly asking the aesthetician, especially because you didn’t know what would help or how much it would cost.

Or maybe you need a new car, but you don’t want to be taken advantage of at the dealership.

Buying is inherently vulnerable.

So as a business owner, you need to step up and take the vulnerability off the shoulders of your customers and own it for yourself.

One way to do that is to ask simple questions:

  • How can I help you?
  • Is this something you’re interested in?
  • Do you want to get started?
  • What questions do you have about how this will help you X?

Share your vision for what you can do to be of service and then take ownership of that vision by being willing to be vulnerable and ask the question that will help your customers.

What simple question are you going to ask this week and to whom?

Share your answers in the Time to Profit Facebook Group

Ready. Set. Aim

“You have to prioritize your priorities.” -Tino Martinez

In this month’s Facebook Live conversation, I sit down with Tino Martinez to talk about how to use goals to propel you towards becoming the person you want to be and creating a life that fulfills you.

I love to plan and goals are a big part of that process. The challenge is, most of us look at goals as a tactical tool and not as a strategy to create alignment between what matters to us and our actions. This year, as I was starting to think about setting my own goals, I came across Tino’s post on his goal setting process and it captured my attention and helped me look at how to set goals completely differently.

If you’re feeling called to start the goal-setting process for 2018 and want a fresh approach, I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.

You’ll hear Tino share his process, including:

  • The 3 categories of goals he focuses on
  • What he does when he doesn’t hit a goal
  • How he manages to make consistent progress toward lifelong goals
  • How he manages to make progress towards goals  that aren’t entirely within his control
  • And much more

After you’ve watched this episode, I’d love to hear from you. What’s the single biggest insight you’re taking away from today’s conversation? What is your #1 goal for 2018?

I’ve shared my goals below along with this Values exercise for you to use when setting your own goals for 2018.

My 2018 Goals

Theme – Connection

Spiritual (what does connection look like in my spiritual life)?

  • Get Baptized
  • Daily prayer
  • Increased surrender/trust
  • Listening

Personal (what does connection look like in my personal life)?

Physical well-being/health

  • Thyroid healthy
  • Focus on what my increases energy and focus
  • Actual Whole30
  • Regular workouts and yoga

Spending time with friends and family

  • Seattle 4x a year
  • 1 girls trip
  • Monthly/weekly dinners

Professional (what does connection look like in my professional life)?

  • Create partnerships with other business owners
  • Connect with business owners in the community on a weekly basis (at least 1x a week)
  • Push myself outside my comfort zone/being comfortable being uncomfortable – do at least 3 uncomfortable things per month

 

What would make it even better?

How can you make the experience of working with you 10% better for your customers? How can you make their experience of booking, receiving and using your products even better?

How can you make finding your service 10% easier for your prospects? What would make your marketing even better – for your clients? What would it take to make them happy to hear from you?

How can you make it 10% more fun for your clients to refer their connections? How can you create such powerful results that they can’t stop talking about you?

I love the quote “progress over perfection.”

But it’s important to remember that progress isn’t code for stagnant. Progress means forward motion. Consistent small improvement.

At Orange Theory, the coaches are always asking “can you increase your base by .1” because they know, what I know, that .1 improvements over weeks, months and years create an entirely different experience and dramatically improved results.

What would a 10% improvement to your profits mean to your business? Share in the Time to Profit Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/TimetoProfit/?ref=bookmarks

Is your business worth talking about?

small business, marketing, sales, referrals,

Below is a list of four things I’m selling right now.

These business don’t pay me to sell their products. But since I can’t stop talking about them, they get the benefit of having an outside sales person at no extra cost.

They don’t have to ask me or trick me into talking about them either. I simply do it because I love them. And when we love something, we naturally want to share it. 

As a business owner, that’s one of your biggest challenges – to create something your customers love so much that they can’t stop talking about it.

To do that, you must tap into something deeper than the nuts and bolts of what you offer. You have to understand what it is that your customers are actually buying and talk to them about it and deliver it. You need to get their emotions and hearts involved, not just their heads.

OrangeTheory Fitness – A studio just opened up in Richland and it has to be one of the most addicting fitness programs out there. I want to go every day, even if it means I have to get up at 4:30 a.m.

What I’m really buying: A sense of community, empowerment and support.

These Soaps (thanks for the tip Ash Ambirge): https://whiskeyriversoap.com because who doesn’t love a good laugh? And it makes me feel like I’m cool and in the know. Who can’t relate to at least a handful of these?

What I’m really buying: Laughter and sense of belonging when I share.

Whole30: I have never followed an eating plan for more than half of a day – until Whole30. It completely changed the way I eat and my relationship with food. I can now go a whole day now without added sugar or dessert. For someone who believes ice cream is a food group, this is a substantial accomplishment.

What I’m really buying: Empowerment and a sense of control over my food choices.  

Restorative Yoga: Or as I call it, sleeping yoga. Because adults need naps too. But when you call naps yoga and add in a little stretching, it’s much more acceptable.  Plus I love the teachers at 11Exhale.

What I’m really buying: A sense of nurturing and comfort along with community and support. 

So what are your customers really buying & how do you make sure they get it? Share your answers in the Time to Profit Facebook Group

Forget Comfort – Be Committed


I didn’t sign up for this.

Except actually, I did.

Earlier this summer, my friend asked me to run one of her legs in the Ragnar Relay and I said yes. Not only did I say yes, but I said yes with enthusiasm.

But Saturday was different. It wasn’t hypothetical. It was real. And it was cold. And by the time my friend was gently waking me up at 1 in the morning, I had no desire to get myself up.

I’d already run the one leg I came to run. And now one of our teammates was injured. So it was up to me to run his leg.

Of course, I didn’t know I was going to be running his leg, when I decided to enjoy one or two or four beers around the campfire a few hours earlier.

But I now I knew. And I didn’t want to do it.

So as my friend wakes me with the words,

“You’re up next.”

The internal questions begin to surface:

“Should I do it?”

Does it matter?”

At this point, our team has already chosen to skip some legs. We’re not in it to win or technically even finish.

So for a moment, I waver.

But then I realize – it does matter.

It matters to me.

It matters that I choose to follow-through on this undertaking.

Forget comfort, I am committed.

I drove all the way up the mountain.  I’m sleeping in a tent. I’m freezing cold. And I figure, if I’m going to put myself through all of that,  I might as well get the satisfaction of running this leg.

I rummage through the dark, find my running pants, my socks, my gloves and my shoes. I get myself dressed and walk to the starting line. And then, when my teammate comes in, I take the bib number and headlamp and I climb 2400ft up a mountain in the dark – for no other reason, than because this is exactly what I signed up for.

As a business owner – every single day you’re going to be faced with the choice between comfort and commitment. And when it’s real. And it’s hard. And rejection is on the line, you’re going to want to choose comfort.

But coming home from that run, what made the whole thing worth it, was doing that extra leg in the dark. Choosing to follow-through.  It didn’t change the outcome for the team but I got to enjoy the satisfaction of proving to myself that not only can I do hard things, but that I will do hard things.

“Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious. I have tried prudent planning long enough. From now on I’ll be mad.” -Rumi

How do you balance the sacred with the necessary?

After finishing my meditation this morning, I opened my eyes and took a long look at my window. There’s a smoky haze that makes it feel like it’s the middle of winter and we’re enclosed in a deep fog. Except it’s August, the grass is still green and it’s already 79 degrees outside at 8:00 a.m.

I reach over and pick up my phone, instinctively opening Facebook. I scroll down and see a post from a dear friend, that her father has passed. He was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer just a few months ago and given just a week to live. He got extra life than anyone expected at the end, but his life was still much more abbreviated than originally planned.

I sent my friend a text message and then opened my email to find this: I Nearly Died Last Week. Here’s What I Learned.

This year has outdone itself with the constant reminders that life is short. It changes in an instance. Which is something we all inherently know, but forget pretty much every single day until we are jarred with by harsh reminders. The cancer diagnoses. The car accident that takes the life of a friend.

Suddenly we are face to face with our own mortality.

In these moments, life seems to clarify. All the things that seemed so necessary just a few days before, no longer seem all that compelling. The blog posts, the Facebook followers, the number of subscribers to your newsletter.

And yet, you still have a mortgage to pay. The vacation to the coast you want to take with your family. The half marathon in Budapest you are training for. Life calls. Clients call. There is still work to be done.

How do you balance the sacred with the necessary? Especially when you’re running a business. When your financial well-being is dependent on you.

There’s always more work to-do.  But there isn’t always more time.

For me, it comes down to asking myself these three questions:

  • Why am I building the business in the first place?
  • Is the business supporting me?
  • Am I consistently making the time to do things outside of my business that are important to me?

Building a business that is financially sustainable is often how are conditioned to define success. But remind yourself that building a life is equally important.

 

If you are a small business owner who’s wants more profit & more time in your business, join me for the first Time to Profit workshop – The Price is Right… Or is it?

Don’t Charge what You’re Worth

worth

wərTH/

adjective

adjective: worth
equivalent in value to the sum or item specified

noun

noun: worth
the value equivalent to that of someone or something under consideration; the level at which someone or something deserves to be valued or rated.

Your worth as a human and what you charge have nothing do with each other.

Zero.

There is no way that your value as a human being, a living and breathing person can be bought and sold for dollars. Although your life insurance policy might try and determine an economic price tag of your existence, your value as a sister, a mother, a friend, a wife is priceless. There is no price tag on your humanity.

Which is why it’s easy to justify spending a million dollars to keep a pre-term baby alive but impossible for 99.9% of photographers to charge a million dollars for a photo shoot of that same beautiful newborn baby. No matter how much they understand light or how good she is at making the mother look like she’s had more than four hours of sleep in the last five days.

Your worth as a human being cannot be measured in dollars or with pricing strategies. Especially when those dollars are dependent on your customers making purchase decisions.

It doesn’t matter if you charge $500 an hour or $50 an hour – your value as a person is intangible.

The goods and products you sell aren’t.

What you sell offers tangible benefits to the world. And if it doesn’t it’s going to be incredibly difficult to sell in the marketplace, no matter how good your self esteem is.

Pricing is fundamentally about what your customers value and the value your product and services brings to them.

Those are the value questions that will ultimately help you determine the pricing that’s resonate for your market.

Not a price tag you try to put on yourself.

Instead of worrying about your self worth spend time reflecting on what your customers value and how your product or service helps them obtain it.

Who’s setting the prices for your business?

You don’t set the prices for your business.

Your business does.

Truth be told as a business owner, you have the option to set your prices any way you want.

But when you try to set your prices by picking a number from thin air, you take a business decision that is simple formula and turn it into a personal decision. A decision that is ripe with uncertainty, overwhelm and self-doubt.

How do you know where to start? How do you pick a number, that you can say out loud without your voice quivering? How do you sell your pricing with confidence?

Most of the time, you don’t.

And that’s the problem with setting prices for your business instead of letting the business set the prices for you. You  introduce gobs of unnecessary angst in a critical business calculation.

But when you let your business set the prices for you, the decision becomes grounded by your business goals, your positioning in the market place and your profitability.

Pricing is simply a math problem to solve for. Not a complex calculation that includes your beliefs, values and other assumptions that have nothing to do with the bottom line.

For a small business, a simple version of the pricing formula is:

COST + PROFIT = PRICE