5 Ways to Build Your Digital Presence During Covid-19

5 FREE Ways to Build Your Digital Presence During Covid-19

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.

Driving Business Growth Through Strong Leadership Part 2 [UPDATED]

In a previous post I shared my one line response to a popular question I am often asked — “What’s your advice on achieving fast business growth?”

“Never try to do it alone” is always my response.

If you enjoyed reading about the 3 powerful leadership principles that helped operations manager Beth to bring out the best in her people, here are 3 more powerful leadership principles from my coaching work with Bob.

 

KEY CHALLENGE: Sales Growth Stuck at 7M

One of my clients (we’ll call him Bob) is a CEO of a family run technology company focused on growing his 7 Million company into a 10 Million company. For several years he keeps plateauing at the same level.

When asked what he attributed may be the primary cause he pointed to the pattern that he continues to be the primary problem solver instead of his people being able to make swift executive decisions in their day to day work.

Observation: In visiting Bob’s company I noticed his office (and everyone else’s offices) were in an open floor plan. Bob wanted the open floor plan to let his people know he was never too high up that he was perceived as far too removed or inaccessible. He also liked the ease and convenience of being able to monitor people on the floor.

But, because of the open floor plan and Bob’s open door policy, he was bombarded with constant daily interruptions and thereby, pulled into every problem that occurred. His people can see him there, so the easiest thing for his managers to do is go straight to Bob to help them resolve their problems and/or help them make decisions quickly.

 

Bob’s 3 Leadership Principles That Transformed Positive Change:

A. Effective leaders must create boundaries.

B. Don’t ever forget you’re in the PEOPLE business.

C. Commit to helping your people S.O.A.R.


Actions Bob implemented:

1. Creating boundaries:

We eliminated a whopping 70% of his interruptions by Bob communicating changes to his accessibility. This might sound overly simple, but it just goes to prove how easy it is for business owners to fall into patterns of behavior when you have no one else to report to.

So, Bob posted a few weekly time slots where he could still have his open door policy, but outside of those hours each of his key people were given scheduled meeting appointments instead of the old way of allowing them to approach Bob whenever they wanted.

For the first time, Bob even started posting a “do not disturb” sign on his door (and stuck to it) which allowed him to make huge strides in working “on” his business

 

2. Reframing what business you’re in.

Bob’s technology business took off because his knowledge, expertise and passion was in technology. But, as Marshall Goldsmith famously wrote, “what got you here, won’t get you there”.

During our coaching sessions Bob admitted he really didn’t enjoy managing people. That just wasn’t his area of expertise. But, it was his area of greatest frustration. Because he didn’t like having to manage people, he avoided holding any regular meetings with this team whenever possible.


After discussing the advantages and disadvantages of:

A. Hiring a General Manager to manage everyone for him

B. Creating more effective approaches for Bob to manage his key people or …

C. Keep doing things the same way …

Bob chose option B and began to reframe what business he was really in. And, after some practice, Bob even came to embrace it.

One of the tools that helped Bob be more effective and enjoy managing people was holding weekly one on one meetings with his key staff using my simple S.O.A.R. meeting template.

 

3. Holding weekly 1-1 meetings to help your people S.O.A.R.

In the past, Bob tried to schedule bi-weekly meetings with his team members, but they often got postponed, cancelled and eventually avoided all together.

When I asked why Bob vented he felt like he was just babysitting his employees. We discovered there was no set structure to his meetings outside of being a low level Q&A session.

I encouraged Bob to start using my simple S.O.A.R. meeting template and to commit to it for 12 weeks (12 meetings).  Only 3 weeks into the challenge it didn’t surprise me how excited Bob was at seeing positive changes in his people’s performance already.


Here is the S.O.A.R. 1-1 meeting template:

S  = What is your SINGLE motivating purpose that is driving you this week?

O =  What OBSTACLES do you need to overcome this week (month, quarter) and how do you plan on overcoming them?

A =  How do you want to be held ACCOUNTABLE for key actions you will take full ownership of?

R =  Recognition – What are the greatest wins you’re most proud of this week?

Result:

1. Bob’s interruptions decreased dramatically allowing him to be able to focus on CEO level tasks that were sorely needed to drive the company’s revenue growth.

2. Now that Bob embraced being in the ‘people business’ he saw his team getting faster and better at completing client projects, allowing them to handle more sales.

3. The S.O.A.R. meetings Bob instituted developed his people’s critical thinking muscles. They were able to handle higher-level tasks and decisions on their own and needed Bob’s guidance less. As a bonus, his people now use the same process to train their direct reports on developing their own critical thinking skills.

Application Questions:

  • Who are the people who interrupt you the most?
  • What kind of boundaries do you need to create?
  • How effective are your 1-1 meetings with your key people?

 


Here’s to your success!


QUESTION: What is 1 paradigm shift that made a powerful difference in bringing out the best in your people?  … Share your comments and questions below.



*This article was originally published here: http://paramountbusinesscoach.com/driving-business-through-strong-leadership/

 

 

Important Tip On Increasing the Value of Your Business

Important Tip On Increasing the Value of Your Business

Sometimes it’s easy to get sucked into the busyness of running your business to forget to reflect …. Have your activities this quarter been increasing or decreasing the value of your business?

If you’re not sure … we are here to help you avoid costly mistakes in growing your business. I’ve teamed up with my friend Paul Visokey of Stony Hill Advisors.

As a business broker, exit planning specialist and M&A intermediary Paul gets questions all the time like:

  • How do I really know what my business is worth?
  • When is the best time to sell my business?
  • What is the process of selling my business? … and more

Whether you’re thinking of selling your business in the next 2 years or not for another 10 years, you want to make sure you’re taking the right steps to build maximum value in your business.

In this short video response, Paul highlights the #1 most overlooked secret to doing just that.

Check out here:

 

 

 

QUESTION: what is the one biggest challenge you have in increasing the value of your business right now?

PROSPECTING TOOL REVIEW: Boomerang — Never Forget to Follow Up with Prospects Again

Prospecting toolThe Fortune is in the Follow Up

When it comes to business development we know we should follow up with prospects multiple  times. But,  have you ever been guilty of sending out emails to a bunch of potential prospects and then forget to follow up on them? Click To Tweet

 

Yup! I used to forget too.

Sure, I have CRM system and other tools that use automations, but there’s a lot of times when it is quicker to just to fire off a bunch of emails straight from your gmail account … but then .. life gets in the way of all our good intentions, right?

That’s why I decided to add Boomerang to my follow up toolbox.

 

What is Boomerang?

This is not the Boomerang App used on Instagram and Facebook that takes videos and makes it repeat itself from start to end in seconds. Yep, that app has the same name as this one but just to clarify. This isn’t that app we are going to talk about.

Boomerang for gmail and outlook is an app that allows you to write an email and automatically send it later on the perfect time you scheduled it. Plus, it has a feature that will also notify you if you don’t get a reply on the email you sent and/or if the person you sent it to did not even open the email.

Having Boomerang is like having your very own executive assistant who alerts you on who to follow up on your email prospecting efforts.

Some also use Boomerang to email themselves reminders for next day, or next week, etc. It allows you to organize your inbox to prevent email overload. It is a useful and a simple tool to use that can be installed on IOS and Android smartphones too.

Boomerang is a Google Chrome browser extension when you’re emailing from your laptop or desktop.

 

 

Why Should You Use it in Your Prospecting

This can easily help you in prospecting clients because it has the capability to track responses. Unopened, unreplied emails will then boomerang back to you based on the setting you had when you sent the email.

 

 

You have the ability to set the date when it will be boomerang back at you and to varied situations stated below:

  • If not opened
  • If not clicked
  • If no reply
  • Regardless

You can identify who to follow up in regards to your proposal let’s say.

 

 

How to Download and Use Boomerang for Business

Here is how to download and install it as a browser extension.

  1. Go to Boomeranggmail.com and click INSTALL

 

 

       2. A pop up will come up and click add extension. Let it run and that’s it.

 


If you learn better through video, here’s a good demo we found:

 

QUESTION: What’s a favorite productivity tool you use in your business development process?

4 Most Important Things You Must Do to Convert Leads into Sales

Convert Leads into SalesGetting new customer leads is exciting, but that enthusiasm can quickly wither when you don’t know how to best convert leads into new clients.

When this becomes the trend for your small business, you immediately ask, “why?” before seeking out solutions to combat your lack of sales from leads, you should be aware of some important sales conversion facts:


Online leads do not automatically translate into sales.

  • Per Marketo, only 25% of leads ready to buy from you.
  • 79% will never convert if they aren’t nurtured after the fact.
  • 1/4 of leads are qualified, meaning approximately 75% aren’t your ideal customer.

Now, don’t let these numbers frighten you. In addition to this, you must understand the psychology behind the lack of leads turning into sales.

The Real Reason Why People Won’t Buy from You

There are four primary reasons why small businesses fail to convert leads online. These sales barriers are as follows:

  • Trust: People don’t trust themselves, so how do you expect them to trust you immediately upon connecting with your business for the first time? Traffic to your website may not always translate into sales if your leads are reluctant to buy from you. The absence of trust can stem from a lack of proof showing you do what you claim, lack of contact information, a poorly designed website, or non-targeted content.
  • Authority: If you don’t establish yourself as the authority in your field, through quality content, you will find it quite hard to gain customers, because they may see you as untrustworthy.
  • Money: If your price doesn’t match the perceived value of your products or services, you are likely to miss out on sales.
  • Time: If the customers feel that the time is not right, they are likely not to purchase.


Turning Leads into Sales: 4 Key Strategies

There are four solutions for converting online leads, which when used together, can increase your sales conversion rates:

  • Social Proof
  • Content Marketing
  • Sales Qualification Process
  • Email Marketing Solutions

#1. Develop Trust with Social Proof (Testimonials and Reviews)

Building a reliable brand will ultimately make it easier for you to market your product or services.

One of the best and easiest ways to build trust is through social proof, specifically reviews, and testimonials from your current or previous clients. Social proof will not only confirm that you’re talking the talk, but that you’re walking the walk.

When someone encounters your brand for the first time through your website, you need to:
1) show that you’re an authority, and
2) provide social proof.

Let your current customers sing your praises by encouraging them to write a review or testimonial through email, on Yelp, Facebook, or any other relevant review site. For those “special” reviews, showcase them on your website. Do not worry about getting one or two negative reviews.

This might work to your advantage, in that, they persuade leads to believe that your reviews are reputable. If people see that others are buying your products and enjoying them, they can be persuaded to follow suit.

 

#2. Help Your Prospects Before the Sale

Helping your prospects means providing answers to their problems through content. This content marketing strategy revolves around blog posts as well as free offers.

Invest your time in writing well-researched and helpful blog content and eBooks. If your leads find that you are knowledgeable in your industry and in the various products that you’re selling, then they will believe in your ability to provide quality products.

You can hire marketing agencies to write blog posts for you. Or, you can learn simple shortcuts and time saving templates to train you and/or your marketing assistant to turn your knowledge into written blog articles for your business website.

 

#3. Utilize a Sales Qualification Process

One of the most crucial strategies for converting leads into sales is to have a qualification process.  Lead qualification is the evaluation of the ability of a lead to purchase from you.

The qualification process involves gathering the necessary information about your leads to move them through the sales process. There are three types of leads: Information Qualified Leads (IQL), Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL), Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). How each is determined varies from business to business. Once your qualification metrics are defined, only then will you be able to take appropriate action that will convert your leads into sales.

Using a sales qualification process prevents you from coming on too strong and putting off potential clients. It also helps your sales team save valuable time and instead focus it on customers who are ready to buy.

For those leads who have not been identified as “ready to buy” or an SQL, you can nurture them through your sales funnel using email marketing solutions.

 

#4. Leverage Email Nurturing Solutions

Email nurturing is one of the greatest tools that you can use to convert leads into sales.

It’s all about leveraging marketing automation to follow up and remain in contact with any leads that come through your sales funnel. If you follow up with leads within 5 minutes, you are 9 times more likely to get a sale.

Strategically sending your clients or customer regular emails will drill information about your business and your services or products into their minds. The more they hear from you, the more they are likely to buy. You want to send targeted emails, to targeted email lists, based on where they are in your sales funnel and how they interact with your emails.

These emails can be anything from newsletters to content offers. The purpose of this strategy is to guarantee the right lead is receiving the right email at the right time.

The Bottom Line

Today, even though most marketing efforts are online, customers still need to feel that personal touch. By incorporating these few lead conversion ideas into your business strategy will help to ensure that you not only have thousands of people stopping by your website, but you will have them laying down their money!

QUESTION: What is your favorite strategy that’s been working for you in your business when it comes to converting leads into sales? Share your comments and questions below. 

Author Bio: ShaDrena Simon is a digital strategist and inbound marketer for Yokel Local Internet Marketing Inc. You can reach her at: [email protected]