Thursday November 27, 2014 2 comments
I Firmly Believe 2015 Will Be Your Year to Grow Business
I've got a simple activity for you to do right now to make 2015 your best year ever. If you've got ten minutes, a piece of paper and pen, do this right now.
All you have to do to get your plan to succeed in the year ahead, is to answer this one question:
What worked well and got actual results, like more income, for you this past year? List five strategies.
Stop reading this right now; write down your five answers, then come back here.
Got all that written down? Did you learn some interesting things? Good! Let's continue...
How can you make your #1 strategy happen more often? This could be very simple. Let's say that your #1 strategy that brought in the most business (profit) for you was calling your clients once a month - doing a simple follow-up with your past and current clients once a week or once a month just to see how they're doing.
Do this in the coming year. You're not selling them anything. You're not asking for business. Instead, you ask how they're doing, what's new, ask if they need anything and close by saying you're here whenever needed. This is an excellent habit or procedure to follow, especially if you're a small business owner. Be sure to talk on the phone with your client to do this. An email is not as personal as hearing your voice on the phone.
One of my strategies that paid off big time was teaching workshops in my local area. People who attended my social media workshops were so happy and learned so much that they began spreading the word about me to their friends in Facebook and at in-person-networking events. People who couldn't attend the workshops called me up for one-on-one consultation, which resulted in a big boost to my monthly income. Overall, my reputation was greatly and positively impacted by this formula: face-to-face sharing of my expertise (social media workshops) plus students praising me in Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. This impacted my revenue in a positive way.
Figure out what your top strategies were in 2014 that resulted in achieving your goals and then take action.
If nothing worked, try these strategies and actions:
Strategy: Content Marketing via your e-mail list.
ACTION: Give your fans the content they signed up for and give them even more. Over-deliver. Mail Chimp, Constant Contact (for newsletters) or Google Analytics should shed some light on what your most popular content was. Check your data to see what emails got the most opens and clicks. Check your blog to see which articles received the most social shares, then make a list of new content to address those topics and schedule them into your planner so you'll be sure to write about these topics, Tweet your advice about these topics and share your tips with your tribe. Now you have a content marketing plan. Yes, it can be this simple.
Strategy: Power Partners. This strategy results in bringing you hot, vetted leads or actual referrals. Figure out who are potential Power Partners, then call or email them and propose you meet to discuss the possibility of becoming allies or Power Partners to help each other grow business. The meeting should consist of educating each other about the problems you each solve for people (your services); what types of people are your ideal clients and any other details, so your Power Partners recognize your ideal clients when they cross paths and you recognize theirs. Be sure to listen to your Power Partner so YOU know who to refer to her or him. An example of a Power Partner for a Web Designer is an SEO Expert. An ideal Power Partner is someone who owns a complimentary business to yours yet not a direct competitor.
ACTION: Make a list of your Power Partners you can schedule meetings with once a month. If you already have a few, write each of them a thank you note right now and mail these today. And if any of them brought you a client, you should give your Power Partner a gift that equals at least 3% of the income that partner brought to you.
Strategy: In-person Networking.
ACTION: In-person networking is a way for people to get to know you. As they get to know you, they begin to trust you. Many times, this results in getting to present your services to the potential client. Once that happens, if your closing rate is high, you'll soon be growing your revenue with this strategy alone. List the events you attended in the past year in which you met people who ended up being your clients or referring clients to you. Go online and search for local networking groups whose members fit your ideal client profile. Also, find two or three conferences you can attend, either in your area or elsewhere. Use Meet-Up.com. Get out your planning calendar and schedule in at least one weekly event to attend. When you attend, don't be in "selling" mode; be yourself and get to know others. Ask THEM questions and listen for their problems they need help with and point them to a resource. Soon you'll be known as the problem-solver or go-to person and you'll begin getting more business.
Strategy: Social Media Marketing Consultation and/or Training.
Have you ever heard this saying: "You don't know what you don't know"? If you don't know how to properly use Facebook or LinkedIn to grow business, then how can you expect your time doing it to be lucrative? Once you get training or a consultation with a social media expert who's gotten results for others, you stop wasting time and start growing business. Getting help from an expert greatly increases business because you stop wasting time; you use your time efficiently; and you actually achieve your goal. In this case, your achievement is that you learn how to attract your tribe with your vibe via social media marketing.
ACTION: You probably already have a favorite social media expert you follow. Find out if she or he does consultations or one-on-one trainings so you can get properly trained. Or if you'd rather have your assistant get trained, that's totally fine. As long as someone in your company knows how to grow your tribe and attract new clients, you'll do great.
Are you thoroughly excited now?
Now you have a plan to succeed in the coming year. If you followed my instructions and actually wrote down your actions, now you've GOT YOUR GROOVE ON.
If this exercise isn't your thing, then what methods do YOU use to plan? What questions do you ask yourself to get at the root of problems? Some people like to journal. Some like to make lists or mind-maps. I'd like to know what YOUR success habits are so feel free to drop me a line.
Let me know how it goes. Tweet me or post on my fan page or hit me up in Google+ or LinkedIn. Or email me or call me.
Still have some time to read some more helpful content? Check out this helpful article I wrote about: How to Hire the Best Social Media Manager.