Whether you’re a chiropractor, own a SaaS company, or run a law firm, B2B and B2C companies vary widely in their business models. Yet, the things they have in common are the desire to generate leads and drive business growth.
Though achieving these goals through marketing can be time-consuming, this article will present the top growth methods for successful marketing execution. Here you will learn how to accomplish three ways to help you become a better marketer:
Create multifaceted content
Build customer relationships
Adapt to new tools
Plus, you’ll know how to implement each method by utilizing the top tactics below. Here are the top three approaches you should consider implementing today.
Creating Multifaceted Content
Content marketing isn’t just for B2C brands. B2B companies are also making a significant jump in this marketing realm by creating a strategic content marketing strategy.
Yet, when it comes to helping entrepreneurs become better marketers, they must focus on creating content for more than one channel. This approach uses well-rounded subject matter to attract new leads and convert prospects by focusing on audience pain points in different areas of the internet.
Here are a few tips to help you implement a multifaceted content strategy.
1. Create Buyer Personas
When developing different content, understanding who the content is reaching is important. You should have a clearly defined audience, known as a buyer persona.
A buyer persona gives you a picture of an ideal customer. The details of a buyer persona include demographics such as age, income, location, etc. In addition, you should describe the buyer’s personality, interests, goals, wants, and needs.
2. Align Content to the Sales Funnel
Once you create your buyer personas, you can add an extra layer to your content marketing strategy by mapping the buyer’s journey. In essence, it helps to create “evergreen” content that addresses customer issues at each stage of the sales funnel.
A sales funnel’s purpose is to nurture the prospects at each stage, helping them move closer to sales. The process works like this:
Awareness: This is the top of the funnel where prospects are looking for information to help them articulate their problem. Content at this stage should focus on the buyer’s pain points rather than the product or service. Examples include informative blogs, ebooks, guides, infographics, etc.
Consideration: The buyer at this stage understands their problem and is now ready to find solutions. Consider creating content focusing on specific solutions to solve the buyer’s problem. Examples include webinars, product features, and comparison blogs.
Decision: The buyer is ready to compile a list of solutions. You can create brand-specific content at this point, focusing on the benefits of your company’s offerings. Examples include case studies, reviews, and demos.
3. Measure Return on Investment
Once you start creating content to maximize traffic and convert leads, you must understand the results of your content marketing campaigns by analyzing data. Based on your goals and timelines, consider using metrics to measure your results, including:
Total leads such as email subscribers, purchases, and free-trial sign-ups.
Total impressions from Google Analytics.
Traffic from the content you publish.
Changes in bounce rates.
Once you analyze your results, you can use this information to maximize future content marketing strategies for success.
Establish Customer Relationships
One method of helping entrepreneurs become better marketers is forming organic relationships with customers. Customers are savvier than ever and don’t want you to bombard them with sales pitches or advertisements.
Instead, they prefer to get to know you first. That way, you understand them better and can create products that cater to their needs. One way you can start building customer relationships is through social media.
You can use social media to post customer reviews or user-generated content to attract new buyers and increase your customer base. Engaging prospects and providing valuable content your customers find share-worthy across various platforms is also useful. Additionally, you can gain regular feedback and distribute content that fosters engagement and drives website traffic.
Here are some tips to help you get started on social media and form relationships.
1. Choose the Right Platforms
Not all social networking sites were created equal. That’s why it’s important to consider which platforms you’ll use for your business carefully. The best way to decide is to look at your target audience’s demographics and determine where they spend their time on social media.
B2B businesses mostly rely on LinkedIn or Facebook to reach their target audience. For example, a broker might be interested in connecting with users to gain qualified leads for buyers interested in purchasing a home. Meanwhile, B2C companies might use Instagram or TikTok to engage users since their target audiences are mainly on these platforms.
2. Think Creatively
Avoid being afraid to create fun content. Social media is a place to develop personal connections. So whether you’re a B2B or B2B brand, it’s important to show the human who’s behind the other side of that screen.
Consider putting yourself in your audience’s shoes and what they might find interesting. How can you mix intriguing and easy information for your audience to consume?
Making an additional effort like this can help you connect with your audience and stand out from the competition.
Adapt to New Tools
Marketing is constantly evolving. There will always be new trends and directions to explore. While it’s not necessary to master all things at once, you can still become a specialist in an area or possess multiple technologies.
One example is discovering how to make video content for marketing.
Video content is one of the most powerful tools for marketing today. Hubspot Blog Research found that 88% of B2B and B2C brands have an entire team dedicated to creating video content.
Yet, why is video such a staple of marketing? It helps raise brand awareness, increase revenue and advertise products.
If you’re considering going in a new direction with video, here are some tips to help you get started.
1. Focus on Stories Instead of Sales
If you want more people to watch your videos, create value for them instead of focusing on your brand. The best video content shares stories that connect with the viewer’s emotions.
For example, suppose you’re a doctor specializing in sports medicine. In that case, you could tell a story about how your business changes clients’ lives. Essentially, you can develop a story about how you’re making a difference in your community.
2. Be Strategic in the First Few Seconds
Attention spans are short these days. Therefore, a successful video provides clarity and gives viewers confidence that what they’re watching is worth their time.
Consider grabbing attention with a hook, such as a quick preview of what’s coming in the video. You can also attract more viewers by creating a high-quality thumbnail. The best thumbnails are clear and begin to tell viewers what they’ll gain from watching your content.
3. Create a Call to Action
Always include a call to action that aligns with your marketing goals. Do you want them to visit your website or share the video on social media?
You can easily instruct your viewers to take action by asking them in the video through someone speaking or using text.
Either way, adding a call to action is easy and can create results you wouldn’t have without one.
Use These Top Methods to Become a Better Marketer
You can ultimately reach your business goals using these methods to become a better marketer. Without these strategies, you won’t be able to collectively produce results such as obtaining leads, increasing revenue, and scaling your business growth.
The marketing space is crowded. Therefore, these tactics will allow you to distinguish yourself from those with similar offerings.
What other methods can you share that have helped you to become a better marketer?
Eleanor Hecks is the founder and managing editor of Designerly Magazine.
She’s also a web design consultant with a focus on customer experience and
user interface. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dogs, Bear and
Lucy. Connect with her about marketing, design, and/or tea on LinkedIn!
How to Build a Dream Team as an Entrepreneur (for Startups)
The purpose of this guide is to help you build your startup from a team of one to a team of many. You’ll know how to identify your startup needs, find the right people to fill those needs, and how you can bring those people together to create a high-performing team.
If you want to get your ideas off the napkin and on the ground running, it can be helpful to prioritize the growth of your team. These are people that you can mold into your workflow, and bridge the gap between your expertise and business knowledge. Not only will you have to expand it, but also make sure these individuals have a strong foundation to launch from.
Have a Clear Vision for Your Startup
If you’re reading this you probably have an ideal plan for your business, but the development ofa business ideastill has to be completed. Either way, solidifying the vision is a great first step toward a clearer direction.
Once you’ve outlined your idea or “vision”, set SMART goals for building your future team. As a refresher, these are goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timebound. They can always be adjusted throughout the different stages of your startup so don’t limit yourself, or feel limited to sticking to your original plan.
During the stage of crafting your business’s vision, find individuals to network with and learn from. They may have gone through a similar process before, or have a well-rounded knowledge of establishing a startup. If conversations go well, and you build trustworthy work relationships with others, you can always further the mentorship process and ask them to be an advisor for your startup team.
These don’t have to be full-time employees, but more of a mentor or phone call away if you needed a helping hand. Without one, you could be missing out on necessary industry and experience-based knowledge so take additional time to prioritize those networking events, and connect with as many people on LinkedIn as you can!
Once your advisor or board of advisors is established, make sure to take the time to review expectations and schedules with them. Take their areas of expertise and experience into consideration when developing a strategic plan for your business. ask questions such as: How involved will they be in the process? Will there be weekly or monthly meetings?
Evaluate Your Startup Needs
As an entrepreneur, you may pride yourself on being self-sufficient and independent, but you doing everything by yourself can actually lead to burnout. Skills that you may lack, another person could really excel at. Instead of thinking that you can do everything the best way, delegate the tasks to other people and work along with their strengths to help build your business.
Write down what skills you can improve upon, and what the main needs of your business are, and find the gaps in between each to create roles for your future team. Remember, self-awareness and honesty are key to benefit from this exercise.
Hiring people who are different from you helps to create a well-rounded team with a diverse skill set. Diversity leads to more creative solutions to problems. Hiring people who are not only equipped with different skills and backgrounds but also different personalities and interests can lead to more success. While keeping diversity in mind, there are a few key abilities and traits that you should also look for when bringing on team members.
First and foremost, startups can be completely unpredictable. Most of the time, they may be strapped for resources, tools, and possibly money. You will want people who can bounce back from mishaps that are bound to happen when you’re working in a company that’s in its early
stages. People who are adaptable, innovative, and capable of multitasking will thrive in this ever-changing and evolving work environment.
Use Your Connections to Your Advantage
This may seem obvious, but making connections is essential when you’re recruiting new business team members. Take advantage of networking events, industry-focused workshops, and other opportunities that may broaden your social reach.
As mentioned earlier, it’s important to first find someone (or maybe even multiple people) you trust to serve as an advisor on your team. Depending on what you’ve identified as your business needs, you’ll need people to fill those roles. Typically, the starting lineup of any company will include these positions:
Chief executive officer
Chief marketing officer
Chief financial officer
Chief technology officer
Business development manager
Customer service expert
However, don’t feel tied down to building your dream team around these positions. You can adjust or delegate multiple roles to team members.
If you feel like the number of connections is looking limited, don’t hesitate to use hiring platforms to build your team too. Indeed, Linkedin and Glassdoor are reliable for finding and recruiting top talent. If you’re not confident using this method by yourself, consider involving your advisor in the hiring process. They can assist you in interviewing and choosing candidates, and it never hurts to have a second opinion on something that’s going to affect your business.
Another thing to have handy in the hiring process is an employee checklistfor candidates you’ve decided to move forward with. You’ll want to make sure your employees are set up for success early on in your business beginnings. On the note of successful beginnings, make sure your team is properly compensated whether it’s monetary or otherwise from the start of employment.
Take your advisors, for example, they’re not just doing you a favor by mentoring you through your startup journey. There are a few ways to go about compensating advisors, one of the most common is to utilize the FAST Agreement from the Founder Institute. This is a flexible approach to providing compensation as it depends on the company’s maturity and the level of advisor engagement.
As for your other team members, you may be wondering how you can not only compensate top talent but also entice them to work for you. For startups strapped for financial resources, it might seem like working for a startup is undesirable. Job seekers might opt for work at a larger company with higher pay and better benefits. But, how long does it take until those benefits are outweighed by a lack of satisfaction?
It all depends on an employee’s value, and how they are able to connect with your start-up’s overall mission. Even though a larger company is most likely more established, it does not mean they are prioritizing employee growth and opportunity. It’s all about how you advertise your business to those who you want to hire. Relate to an audience and show them that, even though you’re smaller and in a more development phase, it could give them a lot of experience!
Working at a startup and on a smaller team fosters a sense of belonging and purpose as well. There is a clear goal for the team to work towards, and reaching that goal is the most satisfying feeling. Furthermore, a startup with a clear vision and personable leadership is more attractive than a big corporation with less than ideal morals and goals. As stated earlier, a startup may lack resources and constantly change. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, it gives employees a challenge that they can benefit from professionally.
Making and utilizing connections is an effective way to form a team but it’s also crucial for finding support outside of your internal team. You’ll need people to advocate for your startup to help you achieve your goals. Accelerator programs are a great resource for breaking through a heavily saturated market.
Rafael Ilishayevand Yakir Gola, co-founders of the delivery company Gopuff, understood the importance of having an advocate in the early stages of a startup through their small business accelerator program. These are great for business-minded people who are starting their own companies because it gets them in front of the right people to find funding or other resources that can set them up for success.
If you’re looking to expand, take advantage of the resources and opportunities that these company-created programs give you especially as you’re growing your team. And who knows, maybe one day you can give back to the entrepreneurial community with your own accelerator program or fund!
Instill Strong Values In Your Team
When you have finally assembled your team, consider having them take a personality assessment. This test can give you an idea of how individuals will work with you and the rest of your team. Remember, it’s less about who is on the team and more about how the team works together. Once you’ve done this, you know how your team can most efficiently work together.
But, that’s not the end of things. What foundation are efficient and high-performing teams built on? A few things; trust, consistent communication, respect, and honesty. If your team consists of people with all these traits, they’re more likely to be there to support you and each other. From day one, you need to set up the expectations of these values for your team.
Re-evaluate Your Team as Needed
Now that you have your team and know how best to work with each other, it’s important to keep track of your progress as a business. If you find your team is missing something, like a specific skill set or perspective, consider bringing someone on to help. You can either hire someone to fill a role on your internal team or you can outsource an individual or an entire team.
Let’s say you’re lacking the marketing tools to propel your business and you find your team unsure of how to tackle this issue. Ask yourself, “Do I hire a team to do in-house marketing, or should I outsource?” While there is no right or wrong answer to this question, and it depends on what works best for your business, this outsourcing vs hiring guidemay help you find perspective on what to do if you find yourself in a situation like this.
At the end of the day, your team is what makes or breaks the success of your startup. Hence the saying you’ve probably heard countless times, “Teamwork makes the dream work!” By utilizing the tips mentioned above, you’ll build the startup team of your dreams in no time.
With a job market that’s in a continual state of flux, many entrepreneurial-minded professionals are thinking of a great business idea and looking for ways to earn extra money on the side, sometimes supplementing income lost through downsizing, layoffs, or being underemployed. Chances are, you have a lot of marketable skills you might not have realized could be potential moneymakers. A little bit of research can put you on the path to making your mark in the gig economy.
How To Monetize Your Skill Sets – What Can You Do?
Sit down and make a list of all the things you’re skilled at. You could consider skill sets learned through prior training, education, job experience, or even hobbies you enjoy. For example, if you’ve always been a math whiz, tutoring might be a revenue stream.
If you’re a marketing or social media guru, you could hire yourself out as a corporate consultant. If you’re an exceptional cook or baker, you may find a calling working as a caterer or event planner.
Assess all of your skills, talents, and the things you enjoy doing and consider the monetary potential behind applying those skills to revenue generation.
Consider What’s In Demand
If you’re a multi-talented person, you might be best served to explore opportunities in fields that are in high demand and finding a way to capitalize on them. For example, according to Entrepreneur, if you search online job boards, you’re likely to get a good feel for the type of services people typically hire out for.
This could be anything from bookkeeping to personal assisting, pet care, mystery shopping, automotive repair, child care, landscaping, or interior design.
Doing a bit of research will help you recognize not only skills that are easy to monetize, but Nolo points out you’ll also get a feel for what others in similar occupations charge for their services.
Whether you decide to freelance for a couple of hours a week as a side gig or launch a full-fledged operation, you’re wise to establish yourself as a small business owner. This includes deciding on a corporate structure, like a sole proprietor or limited liability company.
You’ll also need to write a business plan, get a business license, set up a business bank account, create a website and basic marketing materials, and establish a presence on social media.
Going through all of these steps will allow you to present yourself in a professional way that will help you attract customers.
If you’re interested in learning a new skill or further developing an existing one, consider going back to school for a business degree as a way to expand your professional opportunities.
Online educational offerings not only provide a wide variety of learning modalities, but you also have the benefit of being able to study from anywhere, often on your own timetable.
This allows you to work, care for children, and build your business, all while advancing your education. Grants, scholarships, and loans can help you finance your educational journey.
Buy Into A Franchise
If you’re interested in being a business owner, but you aren’t sure where to start, what to do, or how to operate, you might consider looking at franchise opportunities. Buying into ownership of an established and recognizable brand can provide the blueprint you need for small business operations.
It’s wise to conduct your due diligence in advance so you have a solid understanding of the pros and cons of various franchise opportunities before moving ahead. In particular, exploring financing options will help you make the most informed decisions.
Learn To Network
Once you decide what you’d like to do, building a customer base is the first priority. You can join chambers of commerce, Rotary clubs, small business development centers, or other networking groups in your area.
According to Copper Connection, this can help you secure leads, make connections, and network with those in your industry and in adjacent industries.
Once you start building a clientele, ask for referrals from happy customers as a way to continue building your operations. Customer service will be important to establishing a good reputation in your industry.
It can be a tricky prospect to manage your finances when you’re working a side hustle or attempting to launch a small business operation. Create budgets and marketing agendas, keep good records, and give careful consideration to both income and expenditures to ensure you’re moving in the right direction from a financial perspective. You don’t want to make the mistake of taking on so much work that you’re unable to service all clients in a professional manner.
While it can be a challenge looking for new revenue streams when you’re underemployed or need to supplement your income, taking advantage of your own personal skill sets can open a number of doors to new, financially viable opportunities.
Paramount Business Coach can help you narrow the focus of your business-generating options and help you develop a plan of action for moving forward. Book a free consultation or reach out for more information on the benefits of business coaching.
Thinking of a good business idea is tough. Do you want to start a business, but have no idea what you would enjoy doing that’s also profitable? When it comes to running a profitable business, you want to come up with a great product or service idea that solves a problem a lot of people have whether it’s a big or small problem.
At the same time, you’ll also want to consider what kinds of things you are good at and what kinds of things you enjoy for your long-term happiness with your day-to-day life. There’s no sense diving into a fruitful endeavor if it’s going to make you miserable. You’d end up procrastinating because it won’t feel like fun, but drudgery.
Here are 4 tips to help you in figuring out a good business idea and how to meet in the middle of career satisfaction and reliable profit margins.
1. Undergo Self Evaluation
With the goal being to start a business idea that you don’t find cumbersome, you’ll need to begin with a look inward. This isn’t a process you have to do blindly either. Don’t be afraid to explore personality quizzes, strength quizzes, career tests, or other kinds of assessments to get third-party input. This way, with the more information you collect about yourself, you should start to get a very clear picture of the kinds of things that you’d find suitable in a day-to-day role or even what industries you’d excel in.
For example, CliftonStrengths is a personality quiz that helps you identify which of the 34 identified personality traits are your strongest top 5. Once they’ve discovered these, they share explanations of the strengths, as well as what kind of work or industry goes best with it. The descriptions go on to include other personality traits that you’d work well within others. This could really come in handy when you get to the stage of hiring people to work with you.
Compare the results of the assessment against your previous work or educational experiences to brainstorm possible industries you’re interested in, compatible with, and of course the tasks you know you’ve enjoyed in the past. This will put together a baseline of good business ideas before you start to narrow in on your future business.
Now that you have a little direction, you’ll want to find a more specific space in the marketplace that you can corner. When business owners are assessing their value proposition, what they are really asking is: how well am I able to solve my target audiences’ problem?
To reverse engineer a value proposition, you could consider the biggest pain points in your day and think about how they could be improved or solved altogether. For Gopuff co-founder Yakir Gola, who was the only car-owner in his college friend group, that one problem sparked an industry-disrupting innovation. Who wants to constantly be called on by all your friends when they need to buy groceries or run down to the convenience store? It led to the question, what if the convenience store could come to you? Now for people without vehicles or those short on time, it can.
Finding a very specific need like this for a business idea ensures that people will buy into your product or service. It will be up to you to keep your customers coming back. Solve their problems well and brand loyalty will create a long-lasting revenue stream over time.
If it’s not your own experiences you draw from, perhaps your friends or family have been through situations that can spark a business idea. Not only will this give you a place to finally jump off from, but it can provide you with a group of people to test out your business on.
Going this route, you know you have customers that trust you right from the inception, and they likely would be happy serving as guinea pigs if it means they get to watch and share in your success.
This kind of early and immediate buy-in can be a huge help to launching the business and creating marketable materials to pitch the value proposition to others in need of your company.
4. Understand Local Niches
Another source of business ideas and inspiration can be your local environment. What are the needs within your immediate community? Is there any tourism-related business that can be tapped into? Are you a small town with one busy road running through it that might be able to break up long trips for drivers who need a rest stop? Or maybe the problem is that there isn’t much to do in your town at all and people need something entertaining to do.
Cross-evaluate these possible opportunities with what you’ve learned about yourself from the self-reflection stage and you might just find a point where they intersect. This is a very important step because any of those businesses could or would work but you want to also get fulfillment out of the work you’re setting yourself up for.
All of this advice is not to say the process won’t produce its challenges. You may start feeling absolutely certain of one idea only to end up going in a completely different direction. That’s normal and part of the process.
You need to be able to know when to push or when to pivot. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, just bring it all back to the center of the Venn diagram and simplify things for yourself. What problem would you enjoy solving for other people for years to come? If you can identify that answer quickly, trust your gut and take the plunge. Starting your business will be the most worthwhile endeavor.
Where specifically do you get stuck in trying to come up with a great business idea you can start?
No business owner can know exactly what the future holds for their business, or what bumps in the road there might be on the path to success. Even so, every owner is aware that the more smoothly and efficiently a business runs, the more agile it will be in handling the challenges of the future. Here are five simple tactics that can be incorporated into any business to facilitate smoother operations.
1. Leverage the Efficiency of Automation
The big story in business efficiency over the past few years has been the increasing capabilities of automated systems. Artificial intelligence is powering an array of new tools for business owners that can put many of the more tedious business processes on autopilot. Two of the more common are customer relations management (CRM) software and project management tools.
The former can automate outreach and sales processes and the latter aids in coordinating members of a team tasked with a specific goal. Thanks to the power of cloud computing, these sophisticated AI systems are often available on mobile devices. Paystub generator and accounting software are two additional investments to consider making.
2. Keep Organized
One of the largest barriers to efficiency has always been a lack of organizational skills. According to an Office Depot survey, 63% of small business owners see a correlation between the level of organization and the profitability of their operation.
The most important factor in getting organized is time management. Day planners and filing systems can help, but there are better options these days than a Rolodex.
Digital calendars and planners are always a good idea. Business analytics software and financial planning programs can be helpful if you need to take an objective look at the status of your business and make productivity forecasts.
When we talk about business processes, we mean related tasks that serve a specific goal when performed in a specific sequence. It sounds simple, but whether from stasis or fear of change, many entrepreneurs limit their implementation of specific processes to big-picture goals and let the details sort themselves out. That’s rarely a good idea.
Having clearly defined processes in place for reaching even small targets boosts efficiency and reduces error through repetition and drilling. Process improvement methodologies vary widely, but the ultimate goal is the same: easily implemented standard operating procedures that act to streamline the path to meeting goals.
4. Hold Weekly Staff Meetings
Meetings get a bad rap these days. It’s true that they can be productivity killers, but “can” does not imply “must.” In reality, meetings can be very helpful…if they’re done correctly.
They can keep workers focused on their tasks, promote a unified vision, and unblock the social logjams that develop when conflict is allowed to simmer unaddressed. Remember too that meetings don’t have to be boring! There are plenty of ways to keep employees engaged without watering down your message.
It’s also worth mentioning that digital communication tools like Zoom have been a blessing for the coordination of teams and remote workers during 2020, so consider using these technologies to keep wasted commute and coordination time to a minimum.
On that same note, investing in your employees and their personal capabilities is also crucial to keeping your business profitable by reducing costly turnover. A study by training company Lorman found that retention rates rise 30% to 50% for companies that nurture a strong learning culture. This means not only high-quality individually optimized training regimens but repeating those regimens on a regular basis.
Better skills also decrease the chance of workplace accidents. According to the National Safety Council, the number one cause of workplace injury is overexertion, so teaching people to work smarter rather than harder helps to streamline everything.
Keeping your organization flying level in turbulent times is both an art and a science. By remembering these few fundamental strategies, you’ll be able to keep your business steady and prospering.