How to Market Your Profile for Dramatic Results
You start to write a book and it hits you. What do I know? What can I share with others that will positively impact their success? What have I learned over the years? Who really cares?
I love this picture - it defines life and business.
I have been in the business world since 1975. Yes 1975. I am sure that really hits a lot of you reading this, but stick with it. This was before cell phones, before word processing, before personal computers, before the internet and I am sure that it was before many of the things that we are used to using all the time in today’s busy life.
However, this does give me a unique perspective on how businesses operate, how people think, what people want from life and their business ventures and what makes it all work well.
I have spent many months if not years looking at what I do, and trying to understand why I have been successful. It is not really an easy task. When you blend the issues you faced growing up, leaving home, college and maturing in a number of business ventures before finding the one that “fit” the best. Surround that with friends, relatives and business colleagues and you have quite a set of data to analyze. In the end the core values that drive you to being successful on that corporate or entrepreneurial wheel are as valid today as they were when I started.
Currently I am reading a book by Ted McGrath “Never Be Closing”. In it he chronicles the sales attitude of the majority of the world’s sales people and the buying attitude of most of the world’s prospects - especially as it now applies to our online community. I have found the book fascinating. What Ted is saying, is what I was teaching sales reps in 1982. Over 30 years ago. Don’t sell - engage in conversation and ask questions so that you understand the prospect, his business and what is driving his decisions. In the end the prospect trusts you and your knowledge by the questions that you ask. This is not always easy when your prospect is online, or you have one phone call with them, or you meet them at a training session. Success however has not really changed over the years. Certainly the delivery of the message, delivery of the products, delivery of the sale have all changed - but the essential communication with your prospect - how they like to be treated and what it is that will make them listen and buy are all relatively the same. It is your personality - your well trained personality, and that of your company and its employees.
I have given you 6 things that you can do to generate a meaningful relationship with your community and build a lasting and profitable business. This is not all you can do, but it is a start and one that can get you thinking and moving.
Today, yesterday, anytime, ask - Who are you? Really - Who Are You? I know that this is both a simple, and a long and difficult question. It is the first one that you need to answer even if it means shutting the doors and taking a good solid look at Who You Are - Really - and Be Honest.
I owned a company a number of years ago and one day, the VP of Sales came up to me and expressed that he thought that we had lost our way. I listened and thought for a couple of minutes and realized that we had not lost our way - we had actually arrived at where we were going. We had actually arrived at the point where we were known. We had the personal and corporate image that we had worked hard to create. We had the sales that we wanted. We had the organizational structure that we had desired, and we were in the location that we wanted to be in - we had simply not defined where we were going next. Simple shift - not really. It took us a while to review the company, look at our future, review the competitors, identify new opportunities and build the framework for getting us onto the new path - without destroying the one that we had already built . There was the lesson. Who are you? Where are you going? How are you going to get there? etc etc etc.
This why this is a tough question and one that everyone wrestles with - even those in businesses that are being successful. How many years have you been in your business? How should people recognize me? What is my voice? What is my personality? What do I look like - all the time? How do my pictures look? What is the “spirit” of my company? How do people see me? Do they like what they see? How do I make more money? How can I keep more money? The questions go on, but they are all easily answered with time and patience. The first real question is: What do I look like - and going forward - how does that affect what I am doing, how I am doing it, and how people see me.
I lived and worked through the emergence of the Mini Computer age. The pace was fast. The competition was bright and challenging. It was filled with many new ideas. It created thousands of wealthy participants. It wildly crashed into the Micro Computer age. Which was just as fast, just as energetic, just as creative and delivered more for much less money. Then we launched the Internet - yet another wild story.
What happened in the Mini Computer age, was that companies that worked manually, with magnetic striped cards (another story) or on service bureaus, began to look at their business as one that could have computers and utilize the speed with which they delivered information. How did we sell successfully, as they should have virtually walked off the shelf. We asked questions - about their company, how it started, the key people that made it work, the challenges that faced them now, how they would change things when a computer was installed. We kept their attention. We made them feel that we knew how their company operated and what was required to move them forward. Hopefully, I am starting to get you to understand, or at least understand what is required for your business to grow and become more successful. Yes this was with computers, but it translates to every facet of society.
If you work for a company, likely this question has little relevance as the personality of the company has been thought out by a person or team of specialists. Not really, you are in the position to make changes and add additional value to the company and its pursuit of success. Think it through, the area that you manage and what the set of new standards are for your department, program or overall company success.
The internet has changed the world. It is a point of social interaction - for everyone. Define how you would like to be seen and how you want people to react to your presence. Who is your client, what do they act like, what to they want, what do they need, how do they respond to you, who do they chat with, what is their dream. Define your profile and begin to build your presence on line.
Show up. Build your image. Communicate with others. Understand their needs. Find your niche. Market to it ... Succeed.
Build a Personality
It is your life, your identity, your profile, your voice. How are you seen by others?
There is nothing easy in life and certainly nothing easy in business. Whether you have thousands of customer or are servicing a very small population, your personality must demonstrate to everyone that you communicate with ... Positive, confident, stable, successful.
Consider this tough fact however. You always have a Brand, an Image and a Personality - regardless of what you have done or not done to create it. It is yours. You can use it, change it, build on it. But it is always yours. Remember that as you move forward. A single business person or a company with many employees - it is all the same, and more difficult to control as you grow.
I ran a company once that sold computer products to local businesses. Every quarter we would meet and find a new product - hardware or software - that was not widely known in the market and could therefore demand a higher price. It was that product that we had 90 days to sell, then onto the next one. What a challenge. To always find new products that could enhance the profits of our business. Then one day we decided to open a computer service group. We had the customers. We had the market. All we needed to do was hire the people, build the inventory and deliver excellent service. It worked. We had the sales reps hit all of their customers for the next 60 days and close what we could. Our customer base became our “committed” customer base and we were on our way to success. We still sold that once per quarter product, but the strength of our company was build on the Brand that we created and owned. The Brand that we built. We simply leveraged it and built on it over time. It worked.
A Facebook personality, a Facebook page, a Website, a Blog, a Twitter, a Pinterest posting - all are contributing to your personality or your companies Image / Brand throughout the year. Any time that you create any information about you, your product, your service or your company - it is your Brand. So take some time to think about who you are and what you want people to know about you.
Take the time to review everything that you do. Look at your Website. Is it what you want, does it tell the story that you want, is the message clear, succinct, understandable. What colors did you use? What pictures did you select to have on the site? Are they consistent across the site? What do you look like? Did you have pictures of yourself professionally taken or are they from your phone? I know that these all sound like crazy questions, but if you think about it, you are creating or have created a Brand - Do you like it or not? Can it get better? Will it work? Can you maintain the consistency? Is it unique? Does it have staying power.
People spend lots of money to create their brand. Helpful hints or suggestions. Helpful ideas for creation. Helpful thoughts re logo or names. Create and build websites. Building social proof. These are all helpful. Spend a little or spend a lot - it is up to you. Your creativity and your willingness to research and try to create, will make all of the difference. Get started. It will take time. Get on it today.
Hints: Build your website layout on line or on a piece of paper. Pick your colors. Pick your logo - name or company name. Get a professional set of pictures taken - well done - makeup and hair done so that it looks very professional. Spend the $500 - $1000 to get the site built. I know it is money, but it will give you a kick start to moving forward. Once that is done - build your page on Facebook. Now - worst case, you have a website and a Facebook presence to begin to market your product or service.
For those of you that have a website and Facebook page, yours is the review process. Get it up to speed for what you want it to be, and how it will make you feel about yourself and your business. It is how you feel that will make all of the difference in how you market and close consumers on your products or services.
This is an easy one - sort of. Your communication is your style, your voice or your companies style. It is a direct reflection of who you are and what you represent. How do you relate to consumers, to your suppliers, to your partners. It is the spoken word, and the written word. I constantly hear very successful people in our industry say that over the years they have tried and tried to write copy that is persuasive and has an impact on the consumer to the degree that it produces revenue. It has not worked. Either keep trying or find someone that thinks like you, acts like you and lives to write for you. It may take some time to fine the person, but they are out there and once found you have a winner.
The brain doesn’t differentiate between an actual experience, and a vividly imagined experience. Therefore, help your readers vividly imagine doing, what you recommend, and the outcome that they shall receive. Always deliver the outcome - that is what they are buying. Build your message around your Valuable Outcome for your customer.
How to communicate is not really tricky. It simply takes some time, and there are many tools in the market that can assist you with your program. Your program consists of two basic communication protocols:
- Direct Communication with your client, customer or prospect
- Indirect Communication with your community
Direct Communication is the easy one - email or phone calls. If you have the consumers email address and you have the ability to use one of the email services in the market, build your communication platform and use it. Your message goes directly to the consumer that you are communicating with and in most cased they will read it if it is structured to get their attention. Also, if the email service is a good one, you should be able to get the email to the consumers phone or mobile device for them to read. Continue to communicate and continue to get your message out. Remember that the community is moving very quickly to mobile services and they are being used at all levels of the population - young and old.
Indirect Communication is variable and allows you to blast your message to an undetermined group that is or is not listening. I have a Pinterest account that I need to communicate more frequently on, but lately I have been watching the posting of my Pinterest pictures to other accounts. The one that I have been tracking has been posting for over 4 months. Clearly people are watching and I am relevant.
Indirect Communications are long term and are persistent. However, they need to get to the relevant consumer that will purchase your produce or service. They can be viewed and viewed by the same people that are not ready to make a decision, but you need to find out who are the ones that your relevant message will move forward. Build your Facebook site, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter … etc and work the sites. Build your image. Build your community. Start selling.
In every communication do not forget to invite the reader to join you, communicate with you, buy from you. It will make a big difference to your long term business plan. This message is not designed to deliver to you all of the information that you require to do Facebook marketing. Find a good source for Facebook advertising trainingand and take the course - make sure that you are also signed into a long term support program as Facebook is always changing their algorithm and you will need to have someone that is following that process and delivering the new solutions to you.
Build a Social Media Presence
Social media is the spectrum of our communication, relationship building and connection with our community today. There are many ways to connect with the community, and social media is where everyone that is interested is looking. Social media has become the vehicle for people to connect with people via their computer, cell phone or tablet.
The leader in Social Media has been Facebook, providing personal and business pages on line to communicate and connect with others. Facebook advertising while looking good, should be watched and managed properly to ensure that you get the returns that you want. It is easy to run up the costs with little return.
Although Google has been a leader in the search engine growth and development, it has also been working hard to grow its social profile with Google+. Check it out and also look at Google for other advertising. Social media has not replaced pay per click or google search, it has simply added an additional area for advertising.
With Facebook, you can add many links and accelerants to your profile and success. Forget your “Likes” or Friends on Facebook for a moment. The key to social media is to reach out to sites that can find consumers that you are after and drive them to the site that you are using to market your program or service. The flow of consumers from your site to the “group” sites is variable. However most of those on line will have multiple sites that are used for communication with each other or surrounding a topic or interest.
Again, understanding the context and profile of social media sites is a key to your long term success. First start with Facebook. It is easy to use and get up to speed. Also find a social media scheduling package to allow you to manage the communication(s) and when they are released. Establish a presence and work your system up from there.
Email is critical to your overall success and is still one of the best ways to communicate with your audience. We all have many email addresses - personal, business, trash, subscriptions etc etc. yet if I want to follow someone, I have opted into their program and I am on their email list. Social Media to Email to Communications to Sales - that is the flow. Watch how you do it and the content of your email. I have emails that come in two to three times a day and I have unsubscribed to them. Make the email relevant and weekly so that the reader is not over whelmed with the information that you are providing, but it is relevant to their interest and market.
Close Your Sale
This is a big one again and many of you do not like to sell or have had little experience with selling. If you are in business - get over it. You need to do this and you need to do this well and consistently. Everything in business is selling. Call it marketing, business development, relationship building etc etc - it is all SELLING.
A couple of quick hints: write down what you are going to say to someone on the phone - from the initial hello to the value of your product or service to them - a short introduction - write questions to understand what it is that they are looking for - build your sales message around what it is that they want - close. This will take time and after each call, reflect on the call and take some notes that you may want to use for the questions, the introduction, the sales message or the close.
“Hello its Name from Company have a I caught you at a bad time”. The only answer is Yes or No. If Yes - then ask “when is a better time to call”. If No - give your very short overview for the call, and move into questions. Got it? This will become more smooth and relevant as you move forward.
The same principle is valid for email, or advertising on Google or Social Media. Understand what you are going to say that is captivating and relevant to the person that you are communicating with. Understand what they are looking for. Understand what will make them buy or try your product or service. Then ... CLOSE.
Nothing happens in life until you make a decision. The decision is a simple one. Focus on your value to others and you will build your business.
The initial look at building your business is quite simple. Profile who you are - it is critically important to define who you are and build that image. Then what you are and then figure out how to sell to get there. And do not forget ... Deliver the result that you expect your customer to get from your product or service. That is what it is ultimately about.