When to market your business, in the good times or the bad?

goodtimesbadtimesAs with most businesses there is an ebb and flow to sales, productivity, and growth. I was at a business meeting at my favorite breakfast restaurant a few weeks ago. They have a few locations throughout the city and suburbs. This one in particular was not up to par as the ones I frequent more often. While the food and service are still consistently good, it is in a little older area of town, in a little older building, and was considerably less busy than the other ones.

As I was leaving I was speaking to the cashier, who it turned out was the co-owner of the restaurants in town. I asked about the decline in business and she agreed that it was becoming a problem for this location. I spoke to her about her marketing efforts. She said they are doing the same marketing approaches that they always have done. I asked if she and her husband would like to sit down and I could discuss how my marketing firm could come alongside them with a fresh approach to increase awareness and drive people to their restaurants. She said that things are getting tight and wasn’t sure if they could afford to do anything different.

Her response is not uncommon to business owners that may be experiencing a slump or may just be stuck in a rut and aren’t growing. Business owners can be divided almost down the middle into two ways of thinking about when to market:

  • The business owner that is thriving tends to push off marketing and business development efforts until you either get to the bottom of the barrel or you lose the big client that was paying all the bills,
  • The business owner that is in a slump or has plateaued believes they simply can’t afford to put money into marketing when their business is slow.

Both mindsets are at risk of skewing their growth and could permanently damage their business. The savvy business owner is the one that knows even when you are very busy you still market your business. The well can dry up at any time and sometimes for reasons that are out of our control. One of the outcomes of the recession is that business owners have been knocked out of their comfort zone and are being required to do marketing and business development differently.

Short term and long term marketing strategies are necessary to amp up your business. While short-term strategies will focus on sales and business development, there are several long-term strategies that will create sustainability and mitigate many of the slumps and plateaus from extreme ways of thinking about when to market your business. For our discussion here I want to focus on the long term strategies that can move you out of the slumps. Tammy Hawk-Bridges, author of the book Yanking Bootstraps – Bootstrap Your Business to Success, discusses long-term strategies. She provides several long term actions that can move your business forward quickly.

1.    Focus on new business often. Come up with a business development, marketing plan that you operate inside every single day! Waiting until you are thirsty to dig a well makes the process very difficult. If you make business development a consistent effort you will always have great prospects.

2.    Build a strong pipeline. This partners with #1. You need to fully understand the pipeline process. Think of a funnel, it’s very wide at the top and gets narrower as it goes to the bottom. The top is how many leads need to go in and the bottom is where only a few customers will come out. So for example if you want 100K in sales you could potentially need a prospect pipeline that is worth 400K. This is a great eye-opener and once you do this exercise you will realize immediately why you don’t have enough sales.

3.    Tools that attract prospects. It’s time to put some great tools in place that can create leads for you even when you aren’t trying to sell. This is the wonderful think about new marketing strategies! You can put great content out there and then people will come to you! Be the light and they are the moths, attract your ideal client to you. You needFire_Moth_by_maxine_photo to have great information that they need to run their business.

  • Grow your list – come up with a how-to or EBook of sorts that your ideal client can download from your website.
  • Internet optimized – Make sure your website is ranking for keywords that are relevant to your business. You want people to find YOU before your competitors.
  • Review your website – Is it focused on your ideal client, is it a great resource of information? Does it make someone want to get in touch with you?
  • Email Marketing – This gets you in front of your customers and ideal clients on a regular basis. Be a great resource of information, earn trust, and be authentic. Above all read your analytics and use the information to identify prospects!
  • Blogging – Create great content that brings prospects to YOUR door. This is a lot of work and only the truly committed will succeed at it but the payoff is huge when it hits! No more hitting the pavement for sales!
  • Sharing – Share everything! Social media and the digital world is built to share the love! Every blog article you write share it across all social media channels. Write great content that makes others want to share it and guess what? You are viral!

 4.    Treat it like a real business. You need systems in place for success. Set financial goals as well as goals for leads and business won. Close your business out every month and get real about where you are.

5.    Accountability. Hold yourself accountable for your own success, adapt to a NO EXCUSES and no self-inflicted obstacles mentality!

It is human nature to pull back when business is slow or forget marketing is needed when business is booming. When to market is now. It’s proactive and preventative at the same time. Take stock, take control and let’s grow our businesses together! What do you think?

Richard Rose, CEO, Kroma Marketing

Richard Rose, CEO, Kroma Marketing

Just a Good Ol’ Fashioned Sensible Lesson in Social Media

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Sometimes we just need to go back to the basics, where it all started. Getting all caught up in the hype of the “thing” can be overwhelming at times. Social media has become a monster and is gobbling up as much attention as it can. Maybe you feel as though it’s too much to deal with. Look no further. Let’s take it a step at a time; in fact, we even have a giant picture (infograph) at the end that will explain it all.

The top social media that will make your business more accessible, in touch with your market and marketable are (whether you do it or hire someone else to do it):

wordpressBlogs—tell your story and connect with your market at least once a week then connect that blog to your social media. Use blogging to make a personal touch with people and let them see the “everyday” in what you do.

FBFacebook—you should be on Facebook every day in some way, posting interesting articles related to your business, posting interesting pictures that connect with your market, and engaging while asking people to comment, like or share your posts.

TwitTwitter—Tweets are fleeting and quick so there should be more of them, at least three a day—make them varied between business, fun and promotional, always using hashtags to keep your posts trending.

LInLinkedIn—Keep it professional, only posting business related articles and blogs. When you are connected to groups that relate to your business, don’t forget to post to those groups and become more interactive with them.

G+Google+–This combines LinkedIn and Facebook where you can gather people together to hang out but with a purpose toward your business or industry. The key is get connected and get more people in your circles.

PinPinterest—Show off what you do visually—pictures will grab people before words ever do.

YTubeYouTube—Video is fast becoming a real powerhouse–it can be anything that represents your business or even interviews of significance to your industry. It’s ok to throw in some fun as well. This keeps it personable to your audience.

If you’re just starting out, take a few of these social connectors and start connecting or, in hiring someone else to do it, make sure you are well represented across the board. The infograph below will help you with a schedule of sorts to know how often to post as well as some other great information to keep your social media posting organized and effective.

Are you well-connected or are there some takeaways to make your social media stronger? You can connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Digg, Stumbleupon, Reddit, Tumblr, and YouTube. www.kromamarketing.com

wbg_sensible_socialmediachecklist_v2(1)bethrose11

Hope Springs

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“Hope springs eternal in the human breast; Man never Is, but always To be blest: The soul, uneasy and confin’d from home, Rests and expatiates in a life to come.”– Alexander PopeAn Essay on Man

Spring. Just saying it brings hope. Everything that has died will come to life again. A third of the world’s population celebrates Easter, which commemorates hope beyond the grave.  Nature exudes spring, saying to the world—“We’re back,” signs that life has come back around.

We’ve been through a “winter” in our economy—businesses have fallen by the wayside, people have lost their jobs, even banks have closed their doors. It’s been tough to own a business and do business. So where is the hope?

If your passion is in what you do, then let people know it. Sounding the horn about your wares or your services has never ever been on such an even playing ground as it is now with social media.  Here’s why. Whether you are a Fortune 500 or the store on the corner, the access to the tools to get your message to your audience is the same:  Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, et al. Not only that, what it costs to get that message out is much more economical than with traditional advertising, even if you have a marketing company do it for you!

There’s where the hope is—you can get to your public like you never could before. If you can get to them and tell them what you do and why they need what you have, your business can thrive. Yep, we are a marketing company, and we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t tell you we can help you with that.

We would love to hear how you are turning things around for your business. How’s it going for you?

bethrose1

Why We-Blog

blog6blog1The term “weblog” was devised by Jorn Barger on 17 December 1997 and the shortened form, “blog,” was then coined by Peter Merholz, who broke the word “weblog” into the phrase “we blog” in the sidebar of his blog in April or May 1999.

It is estimated that there are now over 175 million blogs active on the WWW and that 20,000 bloggers join those ranks every day! If you were hoping that blogging was just a fad, I’m afraid you are somewhat in denial. Blogging isn’t going away—it is only getting stronger and more important.

Why? Have you noticed that art mimicks reality or reality mimicks art? There are practically more reality TV shows than there are sitcoms in existence. As my son says 20 times a day (no lie), “It’s like they don’t know.” And people want to know. People want the details; they want to know what’s going on in people’s lives and their opinions.blog3

So, as a business, you can capitalize on that. You can connect people with your opinions and what matters to you in your business. The infographic below explains it: your blog gives a sense of activity and information of brand significance, probably some of the most important aspects of blogging.

I was talking with a colleague yesterday and he said a marketing company he had heard about had dissolved. So, guess where we went to check it out: to their website blog and their social media postings. They hadn’t posted since December, obviously not in action any longer since social media was one of the ways they connected with their client base. Dead, gone. I was even a little depressed thinking about it, and I didn’t even know these people! But it’s a sad day when a company goes by the wayside and when you see it exist, especially a marketing company, in their outdated blog.

blog4The upside to this blog is that there are differentiators between the company that went under and our company. We have not only survived in a downturned economy but thrived! Why? Not just because we blog but because we grow alongside our customers; we have an ROI attached to our services offered, and we have exceptional customer service—all and more that we blog about to not only our clients but anyone who will listen!

Get significant—get blogging.

What are your thoughts? Do you blog or have someone blogging for you? What ways have you connected with your audience through your blog? What response are you getting? Even more important, how have have seen an ROI on blogging and how have you grown your followers?

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