Surprisingly Easy Way to Get More Referrals

HOW to get more referrals?

Get more referrals if you want more clients, so you need to get more prospects in your pipeline. If you want a robust list of prospects you need to grow your list of subscribers. If you want an easier way to grow your list you want to put out the right lead magnet(s) to insure you get more referrals.

WHAT is a lead magnet?

A lead magnet is your irresistible free offer that your prospects receive right away when they opt in with their email address.

WHO should be using a lead magnet?

Every small business owner, entrepreneur and self employed professionals who sell your own services.

WHY should you use a lead magnet?

  • To build trust. You can’t just expect to show up to a networking group or event, give your 30-second elevator pitch and expect that people will now suddenly do business with you or start sending you referrals.  It just doesn’t work that way. It takes time to build those relationships and build trust. You need to build trust that you truly are the best insurance agent, the best realtor, the best payroll service provider, the best chiropractor, the best coach … you get the idea.A well done lead magnet helps you to speed building that trust because it showcases your expertise by providing valuable content to your reader, and not just content that reads like an advertisement.
  • To make it easier to gain referrals. You need to remember that it is far easier for people to refer a great resource you provide then it is for them to refer a new client to you.
  • To automate your lead generation. Having a lead magnet that prospects can receive right away is the first step to begin to automate your lead generation system. This allows you to grow your list and fill your prospect pipeline 24/7 even while you sleep.
  • To scale your marketing results. It is more valuable to your business to use your free resource (your lead magnet) to gain 200 new subscribers than it is for you to gain 2 new clients. With even a small list of 200 people interested in the free lead magnet you offered, you can convert more of those subscribers to take the next step in becoming a client of yours.


    WHAT are some examples of a lead magnet?

    Click on the examples below to take a look at some lead magnets I offer:

  • Hiring Checklist for Small Business Employers
  • Marketing Checklist for Service Based Business Owners
  • How to Start a Business Checklist

    Hiring Checklist for Small Business EmployersMarketing Checklist for Service Based BusinessesHow-to-Start-a-Business-Checklist

     

    WHERE can you use lead magnets?

  • You should offer your lead magnets on a landing page.
  • You can also offer your lead magnets as what is called a “content upgrade” which is a piece of content that you offer as a bonus to your readers in exchange for their email address.
  • You should also offer your lead magnet on your business card which makes it surprisingly easy to gain more referrals.

    Need some help to develop a winning lead magnet for your business? Book a complimentary discovery coaching call with me here.

QUESTION: Do you have a lead magnet in your business? If so, what is it you offer? Share your comments and questions below.

© Copyright 2021-2022

Are Your Thoughts Boosting or Killing Your Sales?

Are you trying to boost sales but feel like you’ve lost your Midas touch in your business? You look back on those years when sales came so much easier to you and wonder why you might be suffering a sales slump now?

The good news is you’re not alone. Many entrepreneurs and even the seasoned self employed have felt the same way. What I found is the right thoughts can pull you out of your sales slump. It’s often the missing surge you need to boost your sales and turn your business around.

Figuring out what’s killing your sales can be as simple as answering these 5 questions. I’ve included short action exercises after each question. You can download the PDF version of
this here.

Let’s dive right into the 5 key questions to help you discover how to use your thoughts to boost sales.

#1. Are you more competitive or comparative?

If comparison constantly keeps creeping into your mind, I can tell you first hand ­­ it’s killing your sales and it’s killing your fun. Here’s my comparison confession:

I started out in the direct sales industry in 1990 where I honed my sales skills for six years. The company was run franchise­ style. They supported hundreds of locations throughout the country. I was one of them.

As many companies do, they mailed sales reports every week that ranked how each of the independent business owners were doing in weekly sales volume. I enjoyed many aspects of sales and sales management; however, seeing these weekly reports was not one of them.

Instead of adding fun, healthy competition as it was meant to be, I somehow turned it into an intense emotional roller coaster ­­ — and I don’t like roller coasters. It was not until
years later that I finally realized the problem wasn’t that my sales rankings went up and down.

The torture was I let my self worth go up and down.
Looking back I was letting my sales numbers define me. My subconscious thoughts kept telling me that my sales results was a reflection of my IQ level. The weeks when I was at the top of the sales leader board I felt so smart, but I let myself get puffed up thinking too highly of myself.

Other weeks when my sales sank to the bottom of the national ranking reports I was crushed at the realization of how dumb and untalented I must be. This went on week in and week out.

You would think after six years I would have recognized the root cause of my insanity. But, in those years I never paused long enough to even think about what I was thinking about. So, I just tolerated the torture. I hope you choose to stop torturing yourself.

ACTION QUESTIONS:

> Are you pausing long enough to think about your thoughts? ________________________________________
> How often do you find yourself comparing your results with others? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
> What advice do you need to give yourself about this? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

#2. Are you serving yourself or serving others?

I doubt anyone would immediately answer this question saying, “Yes, I live to serve myself”. But, let me differentiate the two another way:

  • Serving myself is wanting to make an impression to let people know how great I am.
  • Serving others is wanting to make an impact to let people know how great they are.
  • Serving myself is trying to get others to buy largely, to help you meet your goals.
  • Serving others is trying to help others meet their goals through what you have to offer.

We can all start out with a heart to truly serve others, but sometimes life’s worries can subtly shift our focus off of others onto ourselves. If you want to boost your sales, I invite you to take the daily challenge to give yourself a ‘Check up from the Neck up’ with this one question:

ACTION QUESTION:

> Are you more focused on making a great impression or making a great impact? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

#3. Are you driven more by fear or desire?

Studies on marketing have shown an interesting fact about consumer behavior. People respond more from fear of loss marketing than they do from desire to gain marketing.

In my business coaching practice I have seen that same fear of loss driver kill more sales than a lack of sales skills among the solopreneurs and entrepreneurs I coach.
Here are a few common behaviors that reflect fear driven decisions:

  • You slash prices leaving little or no profit margins from fear of losing the business to someone else.
  • Instead of pruning back the C and D clients you tolerate 80% of your headaches from the 10% of your clients that represent at best, only 20% of your revenue.
  • You need more clients, but you stop advertising for fear you might lose money if it doesn’t work right away.
  • You send people price quotes, but you don’t ask for the order for fear that you might sound too salesy.

When you’re driven more by fear you also end up trying way too hard ­­ and it shows. Whether you are presenting a proposal to a prospect one one one or your are delivering a sales presentation to a large audience, people can smell fear.

Fear revolves around you and not around them. Fear can make you forget to listen, forget to smile and even forget to breathe.

ACTION QUESTIONS:

> What is the worst thing you are afraid might happen in your business right now? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
> If that “worst thing” did happen what difference would it make in your life … in 10 days? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
> How about in 10 weeks? _________________________________________________
> How about in 10 months? _______________________________________________
> How about in 10 years? _________________________________________________

#4. Are you proactive or reactive?

When you go through a streak of no sales or your whole year has been a sales slump it is easy to be reactive and slip into worry mode. Worry can keep you stuck in a cycle of struggle if you let it become a daily habit.

“Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do,
but never gets you anywhere.”
(Erma Bombeck)
Worry and fear go hand in hand. Worrying is reminding yourself of all the negative outcomes you fear might happen and playing that tape in your head day in and day out. I looked up what is the opposite of worry in the thesaurus. It said “confidence”.

ACTION QUESTIONS:

> What is one area in your business do you want to gain more confidence? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
> What is one area in your business (with some training) you could get better results to boost your sales? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
> What is one thing you can commit to doing differently to increase your sales? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

#5. Are you getting bitter or getting better?

Challenges are inevitable. But, if all you do is continue to rotate your mind and dwell on your frustrations you’ll only grow more bitter.

Success in anything, whether at school, sports or sales, there are only three areas we can focus on getting better at. We can intentionally improve:

  • our thoughts
  • our delivery (execution)
  • our strategy (technique)

Are you committed to getting better in your business every day?
The right strategy can boost sales. How is your sales and marketing strategy working for you?

ACTION QUESTIONS:

> What is one marketing or sales strategy you want to intentionally improve in your business this month? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
> What is a new sales­-marketing technique/strategy you want to learn? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

SHARE YOUR COMMENTS: What thoughts are boosting or killing your sales?

© Copyright 2021-2022

Easy Local Business Marketing Ideas to Boost Sales

I recently surveyed my email subscribers and asked them what is the number one burning question they would like me to help them with. One of the questions that came up again and again was asking about easy local business marketing ideas to boost sales. So, here are four tactics you can implement right away when it comes to attracting more local clients and customers to your business.

Succeeding as a local business requires a strong foundation in the community as well as a little creative outreach. In a market that seems dominated by online retailers and smartphone shopping, local businesses are still a draw for many people — in fact, Search Engine Watch reports that almost 60 percent of consumers search with Google every month looking for local businesses to visit. Leverage your status as a local business to reach new consumers in your area and stay competitive with the big box stores.

Local Marketing Idea #1: Update your website.

The first easy fix to attracting more local customers to your business is your website. Too often, small local businesses have a website that is completely out of date when it comes to content and design. Update your content and make sure the site is mobile-ready. Mobile customers need to be able to find and use your site, or you will lose business. Google reports that 50 percent of mobile users visit a local business within 24 hours of searching online for one. Having an out­-of-­date site could mean losing half of your potential local customers, so stop relying on word of mouth advertising alone and get your site up to date, so you can meet the neighborhood. If updating your website does not feel easy to you, check out my free training that will help you simplify the process.

Local Marketing Idea #2: Support the community.

Sponsoring local events and programs is one of the easiest ways to connect yourself with the community. It gives you a chance to advertise directly to the people around you as well as build lifelong bonds with community members and other business owners.

You can offer sponsorship in a variety of ways; you could offer your services for free to a group, provide funding for community causes or provide prizes for a nonprofit’s fundraising events. O-ring manufacturer Apple Rubber co­sponsors a Fourth of July celebration in Lancaster, New York, every year that is attended by more than 40,000 people. Sometimes, it can be as simple as opening your doors to let a group use your physical space for their event. Whatever you choose to do will resonate with the community and build goodwill for you and your business.

If you happen to be from my hometown in Bucks County, PA, consider supporting the CB East High School’s new Patriot’s stadium. Even a small $50 investment in the athletic program book can get your business repeat exposure to the local community. (Okay, so I had to throw that one in there for my two boys playing on the high school soccer team 🙂

Local Marketing Idea #3: Share your community support on your website.

Taking pride in your place in the community will not only give more visibility to the community groups you support, but it also makes you much more three dimensional. Be sure that your website mentions all the work you do for the community and posting photos is even better.

There is a local health club in my community who does an excellent helping to spread the message through their sponsorship of an annual race in memory of a local community member.

There are plenty of sports teams to support. If you contribute by supporting a youth sports team make sure that you proudly display a jersey in­store. Being proud of your place in local culture shows the neighborhood you are enthused to be a part of it and endears you to them.

Local Marketing Idea #4: Share more video, more pictures, more engagement.

In some cases, your social media presence will be the first exposure people have to your business — and what do people on social media love? Videos and pictures. Actively share and post images and videos that are more than simple advertisements for your company — show real testimonials from real locals and local news items of interest to your customers. You should also make the effort to post reviews of other local businesses you like to show that you don’t just promote local business, you shop local as well.

As you implement these four easy marketing ideas, be sure to be prepared for new business. You never know when you’re going to get the opportunity to engage more local customers. One time I ran into the grocery store with only my credit card in my pocket. I bumped into a CPA who came to one of my local marketing seminars. He asked me for my business card, so he could learn more about my business coaching — yikes! I didn’t have any.

I have since then stocked all three of our cars with a stack of my business cards, which came in handy when I least expected it — like while dining at local restaurants, meeting people at neighborhood socials, watching my sons’ soccer games, etc.

QUESTION: What has worked the best for you when it comes to attracting more local clients to your business? What has worked the least? Share your comments and questions below.

Use my printable MARKETING CHECKLIST to help you get clear on your marketing plan. Download your free copy here.

Marketing Checklist for Service Based Businesses

© Copyright 2021-2022

Top 10 Worst Print Ads – Avoid Killer Advertising Mistakes

One small error or oversight is all it takes to derail a marketing endeavor. When creating ads that make an impression, you want them to be memorable for the right reasons. The wrong reasons can prove fatal for a brand, especially in today’s hyper-connected world.

These 10 advertising mistakes offer valuable lessons we can all learn from. Let’s take a look at what happened and find out what they can teach us.

Advertising Mistake #1: Mr. Clean’s Mother’s Day Stereotypes

Print Advertising Mistakes - Mr. Clean

Mr. Clean decided to advertise the brand’s cleaning products with what the company probably thought was an uplifting message about mother-daughter bonding. Unfortunately, the advert depicted a mother and daughter cleaning windows together, featuring text about getting “back to the job that really matters” on Mother’s Day. 

The advert was interpreted as reinforcing gender stereotypes that imply a woman’s job is limited to housework. 

The lesson: Do your utmost to avoid using stereotypes. Before publishing any marketing material in print or online, take a second look.

Advertising Mistake #2: PETA’s Fat-Shaming Billboards

Print Advertising Mistakes - PETA

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has a history of advertising campaigns that attempt to guilt or shame consumers into adopting their hardline approach to lifestyle and animal rights. One of their more shocking campaigns ran in Florida in 2009.

The billboard depicted an overweight person in a swimming costume on a beach. The text read, “Save the whales. Lose the blubber. Go vegetarian.” The fat-shaming caused an uproar, and the outcry soon led to the adverts’ replacement. 

The lesson: Never use insults to get your message across. Laugh with people, not at them.

Advertising Mistake #3: Pepsi Didn’t Read the Room

Print Advertising Mistakes - Pepsi

In 2017, soft drink company Pepsi caused outrage with an advert inspired by the Black Lives Matter protests in the U.S. The advert starred Kendall Jenner, who appears to end a standoff between protestors and police officers by offering one of the officers a can of cola. Pepsi apologized, the advert was pulled and parodied, and 6 months later, company president Brad Jakeman resigned.

The company said it hoped the advert would portray the brand and its products as a culturally unifying force. Instead, it came across as tone-deaf and as an attempt to trivialize an important social cause. 

The lesson: Read the room and avoid referencing sensitive subjects.

Advertising Mistake #4: Bacardi’s Offensive Attempt At Humor

Print Advertising Mistakes - Bacardi

In a poor attempt at humor, an affiliate of the alcohol brand Bacardi ran an advertising campaign that implied that people who want to appear better-looking should find an ‘ugly girlfriend.’ The advert took the form of a mini-site and a Facebook page. 

The brand shut down the campaign after a couple of weeks due to complaints.

The lesson: Avoid being judgmental or degrading people in your campaigns.

Advertising Mistake #5: Adidas’ Poor Choice Of Words

Print Advertising Mistakes - Adidas

After the 2017 Boston Marathon, Adidas sent a congratulatory email to customers who participated in the race. The subject line was a simple, “Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon!” A similar short, sweet message would’ve been appropriate for any other marathon. 

However, the subject line could have been better worded when it comes to one of Beantown’s biggest fitness events. In 2013, 3 people died, and more than 250 people were injured when a bomb exploded at the marathon. The company apologized immediately. 

The lesson: Have more than one person proofread all the copy included in your advertising campaigns.

Advertising Mistake #6: Burger King Goes Below The Belt

Print Advertising Mistakes - Burger King

When Burger King decided to advertise its BK Super Seven Incher, the ad agency it used took an approach that went below the belt. The advert featured an open-mouthed model faced with a sandwich. The pose and the accompanying text suggested a sexual act, which provoked a backlash from angry customers. 

Burger King responded by saying it was a limited-time promotion and that a Singapore-based agency was responsible for creating the advert. Several years later, the model stumbled across the advert and called for a boycott of the fast-food company, as she had no idea they’d used her image. 

The lesson: Don’t include sexual innuendo in your advertisements, and don’t use people’s images without consent.

Advertising Mistake #7: Hacienda’s Massacre References

Print Advertising Mistakes - Hacienda

In the mid-2000s, Hacienda Mexican Restaurants ran a billboard campaign in Indiana. The advert featured a cocktail, a headline that read, “We’re like a cult with better Kool-Aid,” and a slogan that read, “To die for!” The Kool-Aid and death references alluded to the mass murder-suicide that took place at the Peoples Temple in Jonestown, Guyana, in 1978.

The marketing chief, Jeff Leslie, said that the brand wasn’t trying to be controversial but rather that it wanted to be noticed. Whatever the brand’s intentions, the public, and press weren’t having any of it. After two weeks of outcry, the brand removed the advert. 

The lesson: Avoid sensitive subjects, especially when they’re tragedies that resulted in the deaths of innocent people.

Advertising Mistake #8: Flora Forgets Inclusivity

Print Advertising Mistakes - Flora

In a misguided attempt at being relevant, South African margarine brand Flora ran an advert that featured a heart made of porcelain, and the words, “Uhh, Dad, I’m gay,” shaped like a bullet headed toward the heart. The advert also featured the text, “You need a strong heart today.” 

Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch company that owns Flora, ordered the withdrawal of the advert after activists, the public, and the press condemned it as homophobic. 

The lesson: Be inclusive. Your ad will reach different groups of people.

Advertising Mistake #9: Airbnb Forgets The Importance Of Timing

Print Advertising Mistakes - Air BnB

Despite being one of the most user-friendly, well-designed sites, Airbnb doesn’t always get everything right. In 2017, they learned an important lesson regarding the timing of advertising campaigns. On August 28, Airbnb launched its Floating World campaign, which features an image of a house floating on the surface of the water. It also featured lines of text that read, “Stay above water” and “Live the life aquatic with these floating homes.” 

The problem was that Hurricane Harvey was pummeling the city of Houston. A spokesperson apologized for the insensitivity of the timing. 

The lesson: Pay attention to current events and make changes where necessary.

Advertising Mistake #10: Antonio Federici’s Naughty Religion

Print Advertising Mistakes - Federici

Italian ice cream company Antonio Federici ran an advert in the United Kingdom featuring models dressed as a Catholic priest and nun in what appeared to be a sexual encounter. It also featured text that read, “Submit to temptation.” 

Many angry Christians called for a boycott of the company and to submit enough complaints to see the advert banned by UK authorities. The company ran a few other adverts featuring sexualized images of religion, all of which prompted a backlash from Christians. 

The lesson: Leave religion alone, as the advert undoubtedly will offend people.

The Takeaway

No matter what format your marketing takes, your advertising needs to avoid offending, insulting and marginalizing people. Creating a memorable ad is one thing; creating an ad that tarnishes your brand is another.

If you need help coming up with your wow factor message that’s laid out by professional graphic designers, book a complimentary discovery call to see how we can help you. 

SIGN UP HERE: https://www.paramountbusinesscoach.com/coaching/coaching-call-sign-up/ 

QUESTION: What question can I answer for you about advertising your business? Please share your comments or questions below:

The #1 Missed Step in Creating Truly Irresistible Offers

First, the benefits of creating irresistible offers:

As entrepreneurs and small business owners we all want to increase sales. But, getting the sale is not just getting one big YES. Rather, it’s about setting up a system that generates a series of yes-es.

It’s important that you are able to give your prospects an opportunity to say yes to one or several no risk offers as well as giving them some low risk offers. This way, it’s your prospects who put themselves in your pipeline.

Creating irresistible offers is what grows your list — your in-house email database of potential prospects. Different offers will appeal to different types of buyers, which makes it great for you to auto segment your multiple types of prospects.

Formats of creating irresistible offers:
Whether it’s free (no risk) or paid (low risk) offers they can be delivered in the form of:
  • Assessments
  • Checklists
  • eBooks
  • Free reports
  • Free consultation
  • Guides
  • White papers
  • Tele-Seminars
  • Webinars
  • Video training

Creating irresistible offers is a lot like cooking in the kitchen. If I want to get my three kids to come downstairs for dinner I know all I have to do is bake some chocolate chip cookies in the oven. They can smell that from anywhere in the house. My kids (and all their friends) suddenly drop whatever they’re doing and come flocking into the kitchen.

In any house, you can bet chocolate chip cookies are always a big hit with kids. But, when it comes to your business do you really know what makes a truly irresistible offer? What is the hot button that will have your ideal customers drop whatever they’re doing and come flocking to you?

There is a simple process for creating irresistible offers.   If you’re going to spend the time to create, develop and deliver on your offers you want to make sure you’re not promoting the wrong offer.  The biggest reason businesses suffer from wrong offers is because they missed a key step.

#1 missed step that causes small business owners to have the wrong offer is:

NOT doing something called market research.  To many of us entrepreneurs the idea of doing market research can sound boring, unsexy or perhaps simply too time consuming. I find that the opposite is true. We waste more time just guessing what our offers should be rather than just asking our target market. The simple wisdom here is: “if you ask them what they want, they’ll tell you.”

Take action on creating truly irresistible offers.

  • Send your customers and prospects a short survey. Try Survey Monkey. They’ve got great plans starting from free all the way to just $780 a year. They also integrate with a list of great 3rd party tools and software to offer you even more insights into your target market.
  • Integrate survey questions in every prospecting and client conversation. You’re talking to your target market anyway. Why not spend 2 more minutes to ask them your survey questions while you have their attention, so you can discuss different irresistible offer ideas.
  • If you prefer to outsource to the experts who do market research everyday, contact a market research firm. They can manage both small market studies or larger focus group projects to reveal what truly motivates your target market.

Conducting a market research project is far less costly than blindly launching new products, new services or new offers.

Need some expert help in creating truly irresistible offers for your business? Book a complimentary discovery coaching call with me here:

QUESTION:  Where are you stuck in creating truly irresistible offers for your business?
I invite you to share your comments in the comment box below.

 

© Copyright 2020-2022