For a team to be successful, its members need to have confidence in their abilities and know that they are making a positive contribution to the effort. That confidence may come from being allowed to make mistakes and learn from them, without fearing career-ending consequences.
Enabling people to spread their wings not only builds self-confidence, but the courage to take on new challenges and share their ideas. These strengths will serve them well throughout their careers. Thus creating a stronger leadership for business owners
Support and Development
A good leader will recognize the potential in others. They will see beyond the tasks on a person’s job description, provide the opportunity to develop their skills and support their career growth. In return, they will have gained a lifelong ally.
Though it’s easier to limit a person to the role you hired them for, a good leader will nurture an employee’s growth, even if it means that they might eventually move on. Interacting with people as individuals and trying to accommodate
their unique personalities and styles of communication is an essential skill for an effective leader.
They must possess the necessary people skills to handle any situation professionally. Developing effectiveleadership habits takes commitment. It also takes time, effort, and real-life experience. Building a leadership for business owners
will not be easy and will take perseverance.
Empower and Encourage
Mutual trust is critical within a successful team. Effective leaders demonstrate that trust by allowing people to do their jobs without micromanaging them, which encourages them to take ownership of their work and responsibility for it.
They empower people by giving them the latitude to make decisions and thentrusting their judgment. Successful leaders are as transparent and honest as possible with their people and stand behind them.
Vision and Purpose
Leadership for business owners is great, but when a team that is led by someone who is committed to their life’s purpose, it can bring about positive change in both its members and society in general.
Effective leaders inspire people toshare their vision and a sense of purpose. As a result, they will strive to achieve your mutual goal because they want to.
People who learn to approach their work in this way are more likely to become future leaders who will have the opportunity to bring about positive change.
Strength and Honesty
Leadership for business owners know adversity requires both strength and honesty. If a company has hit a rough patch, the employees usually know it, so telling them everything is just fine may result in a lack of trust.
If a situation is dire, an effective leader will be as honest as possible about what it could mean to the team and how leadership plans to reach a solution. Armed with the truth, people will usually help to put things right, and they’ll do it out of loyalty.
Effective leadership for business owners can make life better for those who follow them by providing opportunities to learn and grow. Showing confidence in people will help them to have more confidence in themselves and encourage them to keep striving for more knowledge and improved skills.
If people understand a leader’s vision, values and purpose, they will be more likely to follow willingly. And with a common goal, the journey can be a lot more rewarding.
Leadership for business owners skills are not always innate and may require some additional study. Whether through instructor-led courses, books or with a mentor, acquiring these skills is an important part of effective leadership. The tools are available. It just takes some practice and commitment.
Sigh! It can be incredibly frustrating to feel like the vision you have for your business is moving excruciatingly slow.
You have zillions of brilliant marketing strategies. The problem is there is never enough time in your day to execute or manage it all, especially without a marketing team.
I have found the biggest cause is from something called the Marketing Strategy Execution Gap. You need more soldiers on the ground to deploy multiple marketing strategies to free you up to shine as Chief Visionary. You need a marketing team.
You probably already tried outsourcing to a marketing agency only to be disappointed with the results. According to digital.com, 76% percent of small business owners report facing marketing challenges.
The core challenges of marketing fall into these 5 areas:
Generating traffic and leads
Training your team to generate traffic and leads
Lack of resources (budget / people / time)
Hiring talented people
I mean, starting a business is hard enough. Can’t these leads just come to you? You have a great business idea, right? You should be overwhelmed with leads, right?
After All, There are amazing musicians who, based on their genius of talent, should be worldwide superstars. But instead, they starve and struggle for decades because they were never ‘discovered’ by record labels who can market the heck out of them.
Your genius business idea is no different. Doing all the marketing yourself should no longer be an option.
As the visionary, how will you close that ‘Marketing Strategy Execution Gap’?
Option 1: Outsource your marketing to a bunch of freelancers or to a marketing agency.
Option 2: Hire your own in-house marketing team.
Which is better for you? …
Hear From 11 Entrepreneurs On Outsourcing or Hiring In-House Marketing Team
I’ve rounded up 10 small business entrepreneurs to weigh in with their opinion on this decision. Find out the pros and cons they have experienced with outsourcing vs hiring an in house marketing team. At the end I will also share my own experience from everything I have tried over 26 years of being an entrepreneur to help you make a more informed decision for yourself.
Ambroise de La Gorce, CEO/Founder Of Openinno shares, “Outsourcing and in-house marketing both have their pros and cons. Each option can be better than the other in different situations depending on numerous factors, including type of management, marketing tools used, sprints management, business stage.
In my opinion, outsourcing at the very beginning of the business can offer more flexibility. Recruiting in-house is necessary when the product/market fit is validated, to give more stability to the business. Then outsourcing 20% of the team or so when scaling the business can be interesting to gather the resources we can hardly find on-site.”
Kerry Maybank shares, “I mostly do my own marketing, but I have team members that are great at marketing and create more of the significant pitch documents for us. I also have gotten free advertising by doing interviews with the media.
My company does not have employees. We have team members. People come onboard with exceptional talents in particular areas of the business that significant interest at the time. Sometimes we provide equity if the need is that great or we barter and provide their companies something in return based on our expertise. It keeps costs down, and creates mutually beneficial relationships, while increasing the exposure of our firm.”
David Shares, “We keep our marketing in-house because it allows us to harness our own data and learn to understand how our customers interact with our business. Combining marketing customer data, building segments, and then activating those segments in your communication is something that really draws growth.”
Hiring in-house marketing employees is a lot to manage.
Peter Shares, “You need both. You need in house because no matter how much you pay an outside agency or group of freelancers, no one will care about your business or know your products/services better than you and your staff. However, there is so much to manage and oversee that you need outside agencies that specialize in the various verticals.
How we balance both outsourcing and in-house marketing team
Mark Walerysiak Jr. shares, “I’m early stage, and do all the marketing myself (at the moment). I could see the benefit of outsourcing particular tasks related to content / SEO. The more weedy stuff. But when it comes to telling compelling on-brand stories I would prefer to have someone inside the team and as close to the product as I am. When you eat, sleep, and breathe a product (and not worrying about other clients), you can communicate much more passionately about it in just about any form, and I think the audience can pick up on that. So the preference would be in-house if it’s doable.”
Laurie shares, “Our marketing needs are managed with both internal and external resources. Our internal team has a great deal of experience in marketing and PR – so we can typically tap into our own knowledge and experience for basic initiatives like drafting corporate communications and pitches, social media posts, email marketing, etc.
We outsource for marketing tactics outside of our areas of expertise, or if our bandwidth is tight – such as more complex social media campaigns, SEO and digital advertising.
Gary Shares, “I’ve always done my marketing in-house. I’ve only worked in or ran marketing companies, so outsourcing my marketing would be really weird, lol.The one piece of advice I would give entrepreneurs that feel weary about or otherwise unable to fully carry out marketing duties, still be involved. As a consultant, part of my job is to learn as much about my client’s brand as possible because the person or people leading the business know the most about their brand. I can help a client focus. I can help a client develop. However, no one can create someone else’s brand on their own.”
Staci shares, “As a new one-woman consultancy, I’m doing it all right now — marketing and business development as well as everything else involved in the business!
Honestly, while that requires more time and effort from me, I think it actually helps build trust and is part of my business values. With me, it’s personal, and my clients know that they can trust Blue Moss for personal dedication and utmost quality.
We do all the outreach to prospects. Keith Kirkpatrick Principal & Founder of 4K Research & Consulting
I have done all three options throughout my 26 year journey owning 4 different businesses. I once did all the marketing myself. But I quickly found that not to be the best use of my time as the Chief Visionary and Strategist. Just because I know how to do the marketing, doesn’t mean I should be the primary person executing it all. So, then I spent many years outsourcing to freelancers.
While it’s a good choice for one time projects, the danger is you end up spending way too much time vetting and project managing freelancers, which prevents you from acting as the Chief Visionary and Strategist. The other common pitfall with outsourcing is the temptation to hire the lowest priced freelancer. Like with anything else … you get what you pay for.
You risk super sloppy mistakes and oversights that cost you your brand’s reputation. Here’s an example a realtor friend of mine forwarded me. She subscribed to be on an email list from a marketing provider in her industry … to her surprise here’s what the email read:
My realtor friend was so confused! …. Here she thought she was signing up to let this marketing company do her social media posts and email marketing for her. Instead of getting info about the done for you marketing services she was expecting, an email template and an email from a weight loss company came instead. Certainly people do make mistakes. But, when you outsource to the cheapest provider, sloppy mistakes just seem to occur in high frequency.
Marketing is not a mindless task any monkey can do.
When I exhausted my patience for chronic sloppy mistakes from outsourced VA’s and freelancers I decided to let go the reigns and hired a marketing agency to take care of it all A-Z. I hoped outsourcing the majority of my marketing to an agency would remove the project managing off my plate.
I hired Several different agencies, but in each experience I didn’t see the ROI to renew. Instead, I discovered the project managers who were assigned to me were skilled at project managing (which is a good thing), but so many critical details got missed because they weren’t skilled enough in all things marketing. [CONTEXT] There are many great marketing agencies out there who have highly skilled marketers as project managers, but these agencies are often geared to Enterprise size clients, not so much for the SMB community.
What I do now, and my advice to other SMB’s (small-medium business owners) is the 70-20-10 mix.
70% of our core marketing is done in-house
20% is outsourced (one time projects or a specialty area we don’t have in house yet)
10% still is done by me (like recording videos, giving interviews)
I finally found the key to taking project managing off your plate as a small business owner is to make sure the project manager is a well-trained Full Stack Marketer.
Ok … there you have it. You just heard from 11 of us about our experiences and opinions on whether it’s better to outsource your marketing or hire your own in-house marketing team.
Whether you decide to outsource or hire in house, the next set of decisions you’ll need to make are things like:
Who should you hire first?
What’s the going rate for this and that?
What is the best marketing strategy they should be implementing for your business?
Where can you go to find marketers who know what they’re doing?
What should you look for when hiring your marketing person/team?
My answer to all of the above questions is this:
I would answer all of these questions differently depending on each unique business owner, bandwidth, budget and brand. If you want to get clarity on best way for you to eliminate the marketing strategy execution gap in your business why not take me up on my free offer? For a limited time, I am offering a FREE 45 Minute Strategy Call to help you work through this.
FREE THE WIZARD
Click the link below and Eliminate Your Marketing Strategy Execution Gap!
QUESTION: What other questions would you add to the list of 5 above? Share your comments and questions below.
9 Reasons Why Your Print Ads Aren’t Generating More Leads and How to Fix It
If you want to attract more customers to your local business, having print advertising tips should be a foundational part of your marketing mix. Print Advertising serves to increase awareness, visibility, and mindshare; particularly, if you’re trying to attract more local customers to your business.
I started running print advertising in 1992 with my first business in the direct sales industry. Since then, I continued to run many different types of ads to promote three other local businesses that I started from ground zero, turn-keyed, and later sold. That means for over two decades, I have tested, measured and tested again to figure out the formula for what makes some print advertising get a higher response than others.
Whether it’s advertising in magazines, newspapers, direct mail, radio, or billboards, the first key lesson I learned quickly is this; you just can’t throw an ad together on a whim, let that same ad run for a year to then evaluate if advertising works for your business or not.
So, unless you’ve hired an experienced, competent marketing manager who is trained in direct response copywriting, advertising, media buying and marketing for your specific industry, then as the owner of your business, it’s your job to keep testing and improving your ad copy, design, layout and offers.
Once you learn how to do this, you can test and improve your ads in less than 20 minutes a week. Keep in mind, however, that advertising works on repetition.
If your ad has only been published a few times in the same publication, that is way too early to determine if advertising is working or not working for you. But, in the meantime, make sure you avoid making these 9 classic print advertising mistakes
#1. The headline does not speak to what they care about.
Remember that no one opens the publication to sit and read ads. The headline in your ad needs to grab their attention and get them interested in skimming the rest of your ad. Some ads I find don’t even have a headline at all. Often, you’ll see ads that have the name of their business at the top where the headline should actually go.
While some people may still read your ad, I find you end up getting a lot more people to notice and remember your ad when you use a curiosity or benefit-driven headline.
#2. The ad copy ONLY tells them what you do.
Let’s say you’re a landscaping business and your ad copy simply says:
Design and Installation
Address … Website … Phone Number
You have to keep in mind that your prospects will see numerous other ads from 47 other landscaping businesses that do exactly what you do. Often, some of your competitors will be print advertising in the same publication you’re in. Your ad should tell them what makes your business stand out from the rest in just a few words.
#3. The design layout focuses the eye on the wrong thing.
Take the 2-second test. What is the first thing you notice when you glance at your ad in 2 seconds? Show your ad to 10 people and ask them the same question if the first thing people notice isn’t the headline or an attention-grabbing photo your design layout is bringing attention to the wrong thing.
#4. The text in the ad is not easy to read.
Remove anything in your ad that makes your reader strain to read or look at your ad. Blue text over a dark grey photo is not easy to read. A lot of font styles are tough to read. Sometimes a graphic designer might try a shadow effect on the font, but it will hurt your ad if it makes the text too hard to read.
#5. There’s too much text.
Remember, an ad is not an article. People don’t read ads they skim. Trying to get them to read too much makes them read nothing at all. And of course, the smaller the ad size you buy, the less space you have for text.
#6. Your services are not specific enough.
When you buy a bigger ad size, you have more room to share more information about your business. This is a great opportunity to outline some of your popular services, but you need to be more descriptive.
Whether you’re a caterer, a relationship coach, or an elder law attorney, be more specific in what services you offer. You may think “catering for all occasions” is specific, but you’ll trigger more reasons to call your business if you specified things like:
40th, 50th, 60th+ Birthday Parties
Backyard BBQ’s, Picnics
Cocktail Parties, Holiday Parties
#7. Poor choice of images.
A great image can grab attention, boost your brand and support the core message you’re trying to convey in your ad. However, choosing the wrong image can really plummet an ad’s effectiveness.
Choose a photo of something your reader cares about, sells your work, and/or grabs their attention. I hate to break this to you if you’re in the trade business, but a picture of your company work van does not make the list of something your reader cares about.
#8. You’re selling the wrong thing.
Remember, in print advertising people are driven more by emotions than they are by product messages. If you sell pool tables, you’ll get a greater response if you change your headline from “we sell pool tables” to promoting an emotional driver like:
“making family game night a tradition” or “every man needs a man-cave.”
#9. There’s no call to action in your ad.
Simply saying call now with your phone number is not really an effective call to action. The best call to actions (CTA’s) are geared to generate leads of potentially interested prospects rather than a CTA to buy now or hire you now.
Brainstorm different calls to action you can promote each month in your print advertising. Can you host a workshop, a social, an open house, a special event at your place of business? Offering a free lead magnet is also a great call to action to include in your ad.
Ok, so there you have it. I just shared the 9 most common mistakes I see small business owners making in your print advertising. I want to help you take action on what you just learned, so I created a free template you can use to help you avoid these print advertising mistakes and start generating more leads from your local business..
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.
It’s a scary time for everyone during Covid-19. We all know this pandemic has forced a lot of business owners to go out of business. 😢😧
If you are blessed to be among the lucky group who are NOT facing going out of business here’s a short video that shares 5 free effective ways to build your digital presence, so you can boost more visibility for your business during and after covid.
We are also offering free help, guidance, feedback, support for business owners on Tuesdays from 12noon-1pm EST on Zoom through the end of April.
Just comment below “Business Owner Public Service” and we’ll message you the link to join.
If you want to attract a steady flow of new clients to your business or you’re putting yourself out there for a better career opportunity, you need to be leveraging LinkedIn for business. While it is easy to learn how to attract new clients on LinkedIn, it’s also easy to quickly detract potential clients all from a simple little thing like your photo.
Recently, I was working with one of my clients, who is an Inc 5000 award winner. He had immediate openings to fill quickly for his fast-growing company. As we sifted through the piles of resumes he received, the president mentions to me that his first measure of shortlisting candidates to invite to the interview was to check out their Facebook and LinkedIn photos. His criteria in reviewing photos were not to find the most attractive people by model standards but to learn what many of the photos implied about a person. I wholeheartedly agree.
As the saying goes, “a picture tells a thousand words.”
If you are on LinkedIn in the hopes of attracting new clients, the photo you choose to use as your calling card does have a significant impact. A good headshot can help you garner the same response as Renee Zellwegger’s character in the movie Jerry Maguire, “You had me at hello”.
However, when it comes to profile photos on LinkedIn, I see all too often, people making poor choices.
So, here are 8 classic photo blunders on LinkedIn and what it communicates to potential prospects. As you read the following try to put yourself in your prospect’s shoes when they are looking to hire someone like you.
LinkedIn Photo Mistake #1: Blurry photo
What it tells us: We wonder about this person’s level of awareness (or in this case a definite lack of awareness). Can you not see your photo is blurry? We want to hire people who insist on attention to detail.
So, what’s the LinkedIn marketing tip here? Make sure your photo is clear.
LinkedIn Photo Mistake #2: No Photo
What it tells us: This is a mystery person which makes it difficult to connect with, so we’re likely to simply move on. We can’t establish the know-like-trust factor with a faceless profile. People do not do business with companies. People do business with people. In fact, often the first reason why others decline the connection requests is when they receive one with no photo.
So, what’s the LinkedIn marketing tip here? Don’t be shy. Upload a photo of yourself.
What it tells us: We wonder what you are trying to hide if you choose to be anonymous by putting a cartoon photo instead of a photo of yourself. You wouldn’t show up to a client with a paper bag over your face, so why project the same effect on your LinkedIn page?
So, what’s the LinkedIn marketing tip here? You’re not being creative by putting a cartoon image on your account. Use a photo of yourself.
LinkedIn Photo Blunder #4: Bathing Suit Photo
What it tells us: We can only assume this person is flighty, ditzy, way too self-absorbed, and lacks E.Q. — it’s hard to miss that LinkedIn is a BUSINESS social networking platform.
So, what’s the LinkedIn marketing tip here? Have a photo of yourself dressed professionally. LinkedIn is social networking for the business community.
LinkedIn Photo Blunder #5: Photo where you’re not smiling
What it tells us: A person who isn’t smiling appears cold, rigid, unhappy, and unfriendly. We naturally gravitate away from these types of personalities. If you are trying to attract new clients the first rule of sales is to establish the know-like-trust factor. Smiling goes a long way to helping your like-factor.
So, what’s the LinkedIn marketing tip here? Smile.
LinkedIn Photo Blunder #6: Photo with sunglasses on
What it tells us: This person looks shady! Personality is important. You can emit your personality even from a photo, but that requires we can see your eyes.
So, what’s the LinkedIn marketing tip here? Ditch the photo with you in shades – no matter how cool you think you look in them.
LinkedIn Photo Blunder #7: Poorly Cropped Photo
What it tells us: You don’t make the effort to crop out that other person’s shoulder or just to snap another picture even from your smartphone. We want to do business with people who take initiative, go the extra mile for us, and aren’t lazy.
So, what’s the LinkedIn marketing tip here? Learn how to use your photo cropping tool. You can even crop photos right from your smartphone.
LinkedIn Photo Blunder #8: A Vacation Photo (too casual with too much in the background – more appropriate for Facebook)
What it tells us: We perceive this “vacation-mode” person as being too laid back. When considering a new hire, whether it be employees or hiring your business/company, vacation vibe photos can imply this person might not be reliable, productive, or efficient. We all know that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. A good headshot for your LinkedIn profile does not need to be expensive or necessarily done by a professional photographer. It should, however, project your personality, confidence, professionalism, trust, and warmth.
So, what’s the LinkedIn marketing tip here? If your favorite photo of yourself has other things in the background — take another photo in front of a neutral background.
While your photo is the first impression, there is more to leveraging LinkedIn to help you attract a steady flow of new clients.
So, LinkedIn is just one of multiple marketing tactics you should have in your marketing plan. If you’re not yet sure what your marketing strategy should be, be sure to download my free printable MARKETING CHECKLISThere
QUESTION: What is your #1 burning question about LinkedIn to help you attract more clients? Share your questions in the comment box below.
Save Time with the Networking Tips to Generate Leads!
Networking is one of the most important marketing avenues a small business owner can take to generate leads. According to a 2013 survey conducted by Consulting Success, 36 percent of consultants spend more time on networking than any other marketing method, and 34 percent reported that networking earned them more money than any other promotional tactic. If networking doesn’t play a big role in your bottom line, maybe it should. Here are some key networking tips to prepare you for your next event and help you generate leads.
Networking Tip #1. Set Achievable Goals
Set achievable goals for a networking event. You could aim to talk to almost everyone in attendance for three to five minutes, or you could attempt to meet at least seven new people. The key to generate leads from networking is to make your goals measurable: Do you plan to meet new prospects? Set a number defining how many prospects you want to meet. Do you plan on getting your business card out? Decide how many you plan to distribute, and make sure you come equipped with enough of them.
Networking Tip #2. Know Your Audience
If you want to generate leads from networking events it begin by picking networking events where you can connect with your target audience. A good networking environment is defined by the quantity of connections you can make and their ability to extend your influence and help you generate leads.
To generate leads you need to know your audience from a marketing perspective. What business problems do they face? What solutions have they already tried? How can you offer them something new? Go with some idea of the answers to these questions and you’ll be better able to target those who can help you generate more leads.
Networking Tip #3. Rehearse Your Elevator Pitch
Before you go, prepare and rehearse a one-minute “elevator pitch,” which is a short description of who you are and what you do. A good elevator pitch should describe who you help and what you do for them. To generate leads just be sure to focus less on you and more on what you can do for prospects.
Networking Tip #4. Capture Contact Information
Most networking tips revolve around exchanging contact information, making it vital to plan your activities to achieve this goal. Forbes writer Andy Ellwood emphasizes the importance of collecting contact information instead of just giving it out. To prioritize this, he uses the tactic of deliberately giving out his last business card so he has an excuse to ask other attendees for their contact information instead.
Networking Tip #5. Follow Up
Any actions you take at a networking event will only bear fruit if you follow up afterward. Take notes on people you meet (the back of their business card is perfect for this) and when you get back home or to the office, enter this information into your database or contact management system so you can generate leads from the cards you collected. You can then take action to keep in touch with them.
QUESTION: What do you find is the most challenging part of networking to generate leads for you? Plus, share you best networking tips in the comment box below.