Guest post: Mandie Holgate
I am often asked by new coaching clients “How can I increase sales?” And when I look at what their current marketing strategy is, I can see a lot of faults. If you really want to sell well, and have great clients coming to you almost “like magic” here’s a few things you can try before you start adding new platforms, ideas and content. As I tell clients “Let’s get epic at what you do and then add.” The develop or ditch it approach to business growth.
One of the reasons marketing doesn’t work is because business owners can be like Catherine Wheels – darting from one thing to another. They attend an event or follow a webinar that says “Get on Pinterest” And off they go in a new direction. And yet the core of what is needed has not been met. Before you can write a signal word online or say a signal thing to communicate about how your company can help, you need to build awesome foundations and that starts by really understanding your business. Ask questions like;
- Why are we doing this?
- What are our values?
- What do we want to achieve?
- What is our mission?
These (and a ton more) make up the understanding of your business and don’t shy away from asking personal questions too. For instance I could help you create an awesome marketing strategy but if you hate public speaking and lack confidence (see below) or work 10 hours a day you aren’t going to have a bucket of time to be online talking to people are you? I often ask clients questions like “What hours would you like to work in your ideal business?” This helps people see how many hours they actually have to build their business and market well. Basics have to be covered first. (This then makes critically important information to help you appreciate your pricing structure (and potential profit margins!)
And don’t shy away from creating long term goals – one client has a 25 year plan! But also ensure you create Now goals. Great that you want to make £10k a month (or £500 – this is your business, don’t shy away from being honest about what you really want.) But also have the Now goals – how much do you need for costs every month? What tasks must be completed every month?
As I tell lots of people “I could create the most awesome goals, vision, mission and marketing strategy however if you lack confidence you will damage your results.” And I’m not talking external confidence ie “Woo hoo a new sale! I rock at this” confidence. I’m talking about internal confidence that says no matter what, I’m doing the right thing, for the right people in the right way. So that when you do miss out on a contract or make a mistake you can be resilient enough to fix it. I can share a ton of ways to help build confidence (another day maybe?) but for now I find with 70% of clients if I help them focus clearly on their core goals and create a powerful course of action they don’t get distracted into looking at their failings – and if they do they know they can call me and I’m their cheerleader that gets them back to positive.
The other 30% need to stop talking business and work out what is damaging their confidence levels. If that’s you the quickest answer I have is to read Fight the fear: http://www.mandieholgate.co.uk/books/. Because many of our hidden fears damage our success. Like the fear of what people think, the fear of failure, the fear of setting goals, the fear of saying No. They all damage our confidence and ultimately our success. You can’t shout about your brilliance as a business owner in a competitive market if you don’t think you truly rock.
Who are we talking to and why?
To make this easier help yourself to the slides from a recent speaking engagement. Basically, my audience was rather surprised at the level of understanding I wanted them to create to really understand their target audience(s). However, by really knowing who your clients are, why they buy, what matters to them and a ton of other questions you can really hone what you say and get a far higher conversion rate on conversations.
With an awesome marketing strategy you need to ensure that if I meet you at a networking event, when I get back to the office and find you on social media or your website I get the same feel, same brand, same style of communicating. This is where you can see the need for confidence because you’ve got to stand out for all the right reasons and that is tricky when you are speaking in various styles. Your message may vary in style depending on whether you are communicating to a business audience (LinkedIn) or a social one (Instagram) but ultimately you still need to create the same vibe. And off the back of that go back to your goals and ask “What is it we want this to deliver?” A clear CTA (Call to Action) makes this happen. And really focuses your efforts too. One client worked with me for 2 hours and gained a client at the very next networking event they attended – despite the fact they’d been attending that event for 2 years! How? Clearly defined message and what you want people to do with it.
Mandie is a coach, author & speaker and has been voted as an inspirational woman of the year by a national UK Magazine. She has been in the media for many years speaking about issues that impact on success.