Posts tagged business development
Are you ready for all this?

Oooohhh I'm SUPER excited about some of the AMAZING content I just launched for June!

What's got me so pumped? Let me break it down for you...

The June Masterclass is all about the #1 way to reach your target market.

With all this  noise around GDPR, it has people wondering. Is email marketing even worth it? Spoiler alert: YES! Check out the latest Masterclass to learn my best practices, favorite email platforms (some are FREE), and best ways to grow your email list with engaged followers

This Month's "Ask Hubble" Podcast is all about some social media hacks.

Hacks you say? That's right, I've got a guest on with me and we're diving into how you can still get around the new Facebook algorithm to get some real organic views (YUP! It's still possible!), AND talk about how you can use Google+ to get some real website traffic.

Oh, and our Guest Expert Training is giving you the exact steps she used to go from $0 to $10K months in less than half a year.

Oh yeah... We've got online growth expert Melodi Maxton spilling some MAJOR secrets on how she organically grew her business WITHOUT a following, social media presence or website. Interested to find out how she did it?  

All of this content (PLUS one more Guest Expert training on how you can make passive revenue WITHOUT creating your own online course or product)  is brand new this month inside The Digital Marketing Hub!

So head on over and get instant access to all of this PLUS some amazing past trainings inside The Hub!

Quit Hiding & Get Visible

It's time to get real - one of the things I've always struggled with when it comes to running my own business, is confidence. I am constantly second guessing myself, rarely post videos or pictures of myself (because my hair or makeup wasn't quite right that day), and sometimes even wonder if I'm "good enough" at my job.

Cue Tanya Conner-Green of Whole Hearted Business Coach. When picking guest experts for my new membership program, The Digital Marketing Hub, I KNEW that I wanted Tanya to be the very first one. Not only because I feel her message is so important to all the business owners in the group, but because I (selfishly) wanted to hear what she had to say myself.

So, today on the blog, I'm spilling a few pearls of wisdom from her March Guest Expert Training, "Quit Hiding & Get Visible". While you can view the entire training inside The Hub (and trust me, you're going to want to, it's AMAZING), I wanted to give everybody a little taste to help you gain more confidence and get yourself and your business seen online (especially with video).

1. Insight #1 - What makes you want to work with one person over another? For many of us it's because we get a chance to see that real person. We can see their vulnerabilities and authenticity, see the value they've provided us, and can see they actually care about you (and not just selling you a product). If you choose to buy that way, chances are your audience does too. Stop hiding all of that from them!

2. Insight #2 - Stop running from your doubts and fears. Most of us feel like in order to overcome our fears, we have to push aside those pesky little doubts that pop up in our brains and pretend they don't exists. But let's get real for a minute, we ALL have them! We all question ourselves sometimes, and pretending that we don't won't help us move past them. Acknowledging what your fears & doubts are, and then choosing to flip those into positive beliefs is a much more effective use of time, and will actually help you start to believe in how amazing you really are.

3. Insight #3 - What would your 80 year old self tell you? Fear or doubt stopping you from taking the next step in your business? Think ahead to what you would tell yourself if you had the chance to go back in time. Hindsight is always 20/20, so instead of looking back and wishing you had made moves sooner, force yourself to take that big step today. Chances are you won't regret it and you'll make your 80 year old self proud!

Pretty legit right? I know, she's kind of amazing. But this is literally just the tip of the iceberg (seriously, all these insights come from the first 5 minutes of her almost 40 minute training). There is so much more inside and watching it has me just busting at the seams, ready to start doing more video and creating even more free content for you guys (so make sure to keep an eye on your inbox!)

So, if you're not a member of The Digital Marketing Hub, click here to join so you can hear all that Tanya (and our other amazing guest experts coming up in the next few months), have to say!

Oh, and don't forget to check out Tanya's website to learn more about her, and how she's inspiring entrepreneurs and business owners everyday.

What the heck is influencer marketing anyway?
How to find influencers and brand advocates from Hub Digital Marketing in Rhod eISland.

We’re guessing you’ve heard this term?  How about the term ‘Advocate Marketing’?  They’re similar but totally different!  Brand advocates, customer advocates or, as we like to call them ‘brand champions’, are existing customers or clients who like (or love!) a business and aren’t afraid to use their own time, energy or brand to endorse it.  An Influencer is a bit different as they are people that usually get paid in some way to use their brand (influence) to endorse a business thus increasing the reach (getting in front of eyeballs that they’re not currently in front of) of that business.

Brand advocates are usually easier to find than you might think and utilizing them is a great inexpensive component that should be a part of your marketing strategy.  

A couple of tips on how to identify brand advocates:

  1. Are you following who is tagging your business on social media?  Start paying attention to those notifications and see if any of your customers are saying nice things about you, liking and sharing your posts, etc...  
  2. Ask your sales team to start making a list of customers that seem especially happy with your business…those that are ‘touching’ the customers/clients the most will probably be able to create that list pretty quickly!

A couple of ways you can leverage that love:

  1. Ask why they like you and/or what they like about you.  This is a great way to get a testimonial that you can share in your email campaigns, on social media or in ads and it’s also a great way to find out what you’re doing well (maybe you don’t even know something you’re doing well or maybe this will validate something you want to invest more time, money and energy in).  
  2. Reward them for sharing with coupons, discounts or some kind of VIP treatment and build even stronger relationships with those amazing clients or customers!

Influencers, on the other hand, are usually people or brands with large social followings whether local, national or global, that have built a very loyal audience.  Influencers are usually paid to promote or endorse a brand whether that be with fees, products or some other kind of agreed upon compensation or trade.  Influencer marketing is a great way to reach audiences you’re not currently in front of and when done right it works really well.   It’s not just about finding popular people though as it has to make sense in some way for these ‘influencers’ to be endorsing a brand and keep in mind that finding the right influencers should convert to more followers, shares and hopefully sales.  

An easy tip for finding relevant influencers:

  • What do you do?  Are you a local business selling direct to customers like a Laundromat?  Have you noticed there are some local women out there that seem to have huge social media followings?  One of them might even live in your neighborhood that you see at the bus stop everyday!  She would be an excellent influencer for your Laundromat and chances are that if you reached out to her and offered some kind of service in return (maybe she would love to drop off and pick up blankets or other laundry?)…she’d probably be happy to help you with your marketing!  You can just pause for a minute and think of this scenario on a larger scale if you’re a business with a national or global audience.  B2B business strategies are different, of course, but similar in the way that you should focus on a business (or person) that compliments your business and authenticity is still super important.

What do you do once you find an influencer?  

  • So, you’ve found an influencer and you’ve agreed upon a payment for their shout out but what are they going to say?  This depends on the type of business you have and the influencer’s brand style.  Authentic is ALWAYS best.  Most influencers already have a specific language and style - think about some Instagram feeds and how all the posts flow in a way that really kind of looks similar, maybe it’s the kind of images they use, like beach pictures, or maybe it’s the same color scheme or filter throughout?  These influencers might have no problem pushing out some great endorsements that seem very organic.  For some influencers though, they may be very agreeable to sit down with you to either brainstorm ideas with you and/or take what you craft for them to ensure the messaging they’re pushing out is both consistent with their brand (so their loyal audience won’t think twice about trusting them and hopefully will jump on board to support your brand) and consistent with your integrated messaging and marketing strategy.

Whether you decide to start leveraging the love with your existing brand advocates or you decide to seek out new influencers to help spread the word about your amazing company (or better yet…both)  they are both proven effective tactics and we wish you tons of new growth!

 

How to Respond to "That" Client
Don't get mad, get smart. How to respond to that annoying client.

We've all been there. You've kicked butt through another day of work and are feeling pretty good about your progress. It's just about 6pm and you're finishing up a few last emails before logging off and heading to the fridge to figure out what you want to make for dinner. You've just hit "send" on the last of them, when you see that one more came through while you were writing. And it's a doozy. One of your clients just fired off an accusatory, argumentative or just plain rude email that has your blood boiling and you're seeing red. Your dinner plans have officially blown up in your face as you struggle to keep from responding with a few choice 4 letter words.

No matter what line of business you're in, you're going to run into this kind of situation eventually. Whether it be from "that" client, boss, or co-worker, someone is going to step over that boundary and express some kind of anger, disappointment or frustration towards you whether it is warranted or not. They may be disappointed in the outcome of a project, failed to appreciate your work efforts, or unfairly blamed you for something that went wrong. Your first instinct is to fire back and defend yourself from the onslaught. But you know that if you do, you're going to fall down the rabbit hole of those endless back-and-forth email chains that will leave both of you even more frustrated. So, before you type your first word, take a second to run through some of our tips on how you can better handle the situation so you can come out with your head held high.

1. Take a deep breath and count to 10. This may seem obvious and cliche, but it's one of the most important first steps. Taking a deep breath before responding to any kind of confrontation can give you just enough time to talk yourself out of that knee jerk response. Take it from me, your first gut reply most likely isn't going to be your most articulate or professional.

2. Let them know that you've received their message and will get back to them later. Instead of leaving everything out there (or even worse, responding right away), respectfully let them know that you received their email and are going to take a day, or even a few days, to work on a response. It will keep them from sending you more emails while you're working on it (which will just fan the flames) and will show you're reasonable and giving it the time it deserves.

3. Let it out. Before letting your frustration out on your client/boss/co-worker, take it out elsewhere. Go for a walk, exercise or vent to a friend or family member (someone you can trust not to repeat your conversation). Getting that jittery energy out will help you think clearer and better evaluate your next steps.

4. Get everything in perspective. Sometimes in the moment that email can seem absolutely momentous. The problem can seem so huge it feels like it's just sucking up all your energy and completely taking over your time. Here's where you have to give yourself a little tough love and shift your thinking to something a little bit more realistic. Is this the end of the world? Probably not. In 6 months, is this situation still going to be going on, or even matter? In most cases, no. Talk yourself off the ledge and give yourself an accurate view of what is really happening and how much weight it really should carry.

5. Start collecting evidence. Break down the email and begin collecting evidence to back up your viewpoint. Find old emails, reference old conversations or collect some statistics and data. Write down a couple bullet points with your perspective under each point to being to organize your thoughts. 

6. Be clear, concise and let down your defenses. It may be tempting to go on the defense, but if you do, you're going to come across as immature and irrational. Use clear language, and make your points in calm, factual ways. Don't exaggerate or embellish, but don't back down when you truly have a point to make either. And here's an important thing to remember - be willing to admit to situations where they may be right and the evidence points in their favor. Be honest with yourself, and them, even in situations where you have to swallow your pride and concede. 

7. Hit save, before sending. Don't send right after you finish. Instead, hit the save button and walk away, to re-evaluate again later. If the situation allows you to, give it a good 12-24 hours. When you look at it again, more time will have passed and your head will be even cooler. You'll be able to more accurately reflect on your language and phrasing to ensure you're 100% happy with everything you're about to say.

8. Fire and forget. As soon as you hit that send button, move on to another task. It's tempting to obsess over your email while you constantly hit refresh to see if you've gotten a response. Busying yourself with other activities will help keep your mind off of it while you await a response and keep you from wasting valuable time running through made up scenarios in your head. 

By the time the other party reads your well crafted email, chances are they will have had enough time to calm down as well and their response may be surprisingly rational. However, if they don't reply in a way that you would like them to, head on back to Step 1 and repeat the process all over again until they do.

Feature of the Week: Tuni Schartner of TRS Strategies and TS Consulting

 

Over the past couple years, we at Hub Digital have been cultivating some relationships with other, complimentary business owners we've met in our travels (it's one of the biggest benefits of working in a co-working space!) One that I've found that has been one of the biggest benefits to both me and my clients, has been a special partnership formed with Tuni Schartner, of TRS Strategies and TS Consulting. 

With years of entrepreneurship under her belt, Tuni has honed the best practices for business owners and is committed to sharing those tips and tricks. Through my clients, I've found that many times, their needs extend beyond the computer. While they may come to me needing help with social media, blogging or website development, through the process they've realized they need a little something extra. As they streamline and perfect their digital presence, they find they want help with a variety of things including business strategy, integrated marketing, event planning and promotions and even grassroots marketing. Enter Tuni Schartner. 

Today we've asked Tuni to tell us a little bit about herself and her company and to give us the "why" behind the importance of having an integrated marketing strategy that extends beyond the digital environment.

I have an authentic interest in business, social psychology and history and I truly like people so helping businesses grow is a very natural fit for me.  I’m not ashamed to say that at 48 and having been an entrepreneur, or entrepreneur in training, since around age 10…I’m a little bit obsessed with what I do.  I am deeply committed to education and growth myself - on a daily basis - and love to put all that I learn into practice.  I refer to myself often as ‘a professional spaghetti thrower’…I am in a constant state, for my own business(es) and for my client projects, of throwing spaghetti against the wall and quantifying what is sticking, what isn’t, what to shelf, trash or invest more time, money and energy into!

Business development and/or marketing - no matter what your industry - is changing at the speed of light.  All the rules are in a constant state of change.  Staying on top of all that change is fun for people like Amy and I.  I love working with Amy/Hub Digital and find that her millennial mind and skill set coupled with her education and experience continues to be the perfect compliment to mine.  Our clients are continuing to reap the rewards of our partnership and we’re continuing to develop new service offerings and programs, such as a series of ‘short’ and extremely affordable online classes that we will begin to launch (two at a time) quarterly starting in September! 

In order for companies to grow they really need to take a holistic, and objective, approach to looking at their business - identifying their ‘why’ (as per Simon Sinek’s TED Talk - we often know what you do, how you do it,  but not ‘why’ you do it), clearly identify their differentiator(s) and unique value propositions then create short and long term growth objectives.  We work closely with each client to help them work through this process, as well as clearly defining who their audience is then we create integrated marketing strategies with clear short and long term growth objectives.