Blog

Shoots News

Shoots News

by Julia Williams 18 Sep, 2017

Are you struggling with fear of success? “Wait, did you not mean failure?”, I hear you say, but no, I meant “success”.

 

Why would anyone be afraid of success and what does that mean?

 

As an entrepreneur I can tell you I have been afraid of success as well as of failure. Probably equally.

 

While I was launching my consulting business, I sometimes held back with trying out new marketing activities because I was afraid they would work and I would get too many new enquiries. But then you have to dip your toe in at some stage and just give it a go. And most of the time it is not as scary as you thought and although there were some leads coming in, I was not inundated with leads either. Actually, that would have been a good problem to have.

 

But I am not alone with this “problem”. When I worked for a big coporate company I dealt with some colleagues who seemed to be blocking the project I was leading and were trying to delay the product launch.

When I dug a bit deeper the person who was blocking the project the most admitted that they thought the product was actually going to be successful, but they weren’t sure whether they had enough resources to deal with the leads.

After I assured him that we could cut back the customer communication immediately if we noticed that too many leads were coming in, he agreed to support the project and it ended up being a success – with full control over how many leads we were going to get each week.

 

Are you also holding back with trying out new marketing activities in case they might work?

Why don’t you learn from my example and just give it a go? If you really get tons of leads you can work out a way of dealing with that then and shut down that magical Facebook ad ASAP, but the reality is that there is usually no silver bullet and that getting leads is much harder than you think.

 

You might try something out and nothing happens, you might try something out and it actually works, but if you don’t try it out at all, you will never know which way it would have gone.

 

Still hesitating? Do you need a push? Let’s have a chat!

 

If you are interested in a conversation about marketing support for your business, please don’t hesitate to contact Shoots Marketing Consulting on julia@shootsmarketing.com.au or 0447 235 000 .

by Julia Williams 11 Aug, 2017

So, you have a website and everyone is telling you that appearing at the top of Google is critical for your business to get found online. But how do you get there?

 

There are basically two ways of getting to the top of Google – one is through SEO (search engine optimisation) and the other one is through Google AdWords . But which one is the right one for your business or are both required?

 

The answer is not that straight forward, which is why you might end up spending too much money on one of of the two options. Here is my assessment of both options:

 

1.) SEO is not free! Despite the fact that you’re not paying for clicks to your website, search engine optimisation usually requires expertise, time and consistency. Unless you are in a very particular niche and you don’t have a lot of competitors, it can take months or years to get to the top of search engines.

Google ranks websites based on their relevance regarding a specific search term and you not only have to make sure your website is relevant and optimised for the search term you want to appear under, you also have to create relevant content featuring the search term and “backlinks” (links leading to your website from other websites) to your website to demonstrate that it is actually relevant to others too. Links that you can “buy”, like directory listings, don’t count, by the way.

You can either spend a lot of time on this yourself, or you can hire someone to do this for you, which – of course – costs you money.

 

2.) Google AdWords is a short cut to the top, but can be an expensive one . The cost of a Google ad varies significantly based on the competition for this search term. It can cost from a few cents to hundreds of dollars. You can set a maximum value for a so-called “bid” that you’re prepare to pay.

To know which keywords are the expensive ones, you can look at the Google Keywords Planner, which will give you keyword suggestions relating to your business, and the ones with the “high” competition are usually the most expensive ones. You might want to have a look through the “medium” to “low” ranked keywords instead and check whether any of them are also relevant to your business so that you can reduce your costs, but still get clicks.

You can set a maximum daily budget you’re prepared to spend too. Of course that will also limit the amount of clicks you can get.

Google AdWords requires some trial and error, but over time you’ll be able to narrow down which keywords are working for you and how many clicks you can get to your website. Be sure to set restrictions like the location(s) your ads are relevant for. If you don’t offer your service on a national level, there is no point paying for an ad to appear in an area you don’t service.

 

My recommendation is : Make sure you know what your target audience is interested in and what they are searching for online by using the Google AdWords Keyword Planner as a guide (“high” competition). Optimise your website to feature these keywords in text, image titles, meta data, website titles, anywhere you can fit them in without doing “keyword stuffing”, which is penalised by Google.

Follow general SEO rules such as improving your page speed, having a mobile friendly website, removing text duplications from your website, having lots of content on your website such as blogs, so that Google can get an impression of what you offer and what your website is all about, try to get links to your websites onto other websites, e.g. by doing PR campaigns or getting your clients or suppliers to include them on their websites as a partner or a recommendation.

Maximise your limited AdWords budget by targeting only the locations you actually service and selecting relevant keywords from the “medium” to “low” competition category of suggested keywords.

 

Another tip is to set up a Google My Business profile , which makes you look professional when people are searching for your business (select some nice photos of your business and products). The link to your business might also appear in one of the upper areas of the Google search without having to pay for it, provided there is not too much competition in your area.

 

As with anything, it’ll take practice, trial and error, persistence, checking, readjusting, learning and some investment – be it time or money or both, but you’ll get there eventually.

 

If you are interested in a conversation about marketing support for your business, please don’t hesitate to contact Shoots Marketing Consulting on julia@shootsmarketing.com.au or 0447 235 000 .

by Julia Williams 31 Jul, 2017

How do you know when you might need some marketing support for your business and what can a marketing consultant do for you? Below are a few good reasons why you should invest in hiring a marketing consultant.

 

1.   Reason: You’re flat out …sometimes

This is a good problem to have at first glance. You obviously have done a good job selling your products or services and have generated enough business to keep you busy. But are your leads coming in continuously? Or does your lead generation suffer when you’re actually busy working for your clients. Once the project is finished, there may be nothing in the pipeline and you have to start looking for new clients?
A marketing consultant could help you with continuing your marketing activities while you’re busy and making sure there is more business waiting for you when you have finished the job.

 

2.   Reason: You’re working “in” the business, but not “on” the business

Similar to the first reason, this has got to do with being too busy. You are busy working “in” the business and don’t have time to think beyond the jobs that have to be done by the end of the week.

A marketing consultant can lend you an external perspective and get you to think about the long-term plan for your business. Do you want or need to grow? If so, a marketing consultant can help you to set targets and develop a plan to achieve these. With regular follow-up meetings, they can also help you to keep your eyes on the prize and not get sucked back into the every day tasks only.

 

3.   Reason: You don’t know where to start

“Getting the word out there” sounds easy enough, but you don’t want to waste your money on marketing activities that don’t work? Do people actually still read newspapers? Do I have to spend tons of money on radio and TV advertising? Social media scares you? Every day a different “marketing guru” tells you how you can earn millions if you just follow their fool-proof 5-step method (and pay them $1,000)?

It can be very confusing, but if you get a marketing consultant to help you with focusing on who your target group is, which media they actually use and pay attention to, it could save you a lot of time and money.

 

4.   Reason: You’re doing the same thing you’ve always done

You have worked hard to grow your business and you have been successful with getting the word out there. But recently it seems to be a bit “quiet” out there?

The marketing landscape has changed quite a lot over the last 10 years. Consumers (and businesses) are behaving differently when they are searching and considering products or services and are also expecting a lot more from companies nowadays. Whether it is a website, social media presence, professional graphic design, a decent Google ranking, good product reviews, e-mail marketing, … The list goes on. Is it time for your business to try out some new lead generation techniques?

 

5.   You have a business idea

Fantastic! You have a business idea… Many people never really have “that” idea.

However, you’re not sure whether it will work? You have no idea how to create a business plan or a marketing plan? How much will you actually be able to earn with your idea? How big is the market? Does anyone actually want your product or service?

A marketing consultant can help you with answering these questions and develop a business and marketing plan for you. It might be worthwhile investing in doing the “homework” before you spend a lot of time and money on creating a business that may not work or not actually earn as much as you would think.

 

If you are interested in a conversation about marketing support for your business, please don’t hesitate to contact Shoots Marketing Consulting on julia@shootsmarketing.com.au or 0447 235 000 .

by Julia Williams 11 Jul, 2017

You might think “Yes, of course it is costing me money!”, which means that you’re seeing marketing as a cost rather than an investment, which creates more business for you and in turn pays for itself and actually generates profits for you.

 

Try running a business without doing any marketing. It usually won’t work very well.

If you are one of the lucky businesses that seem to be able to exist based on word-of-mouth referrals, congratulations! However, even then, there might be a time when your referrals are drying up. This is usually when business owners start to think that they need “some marketing”. Why? Because marketing is a way of creating awareness for your business, products and services and thereby creating leads, sales and profit for you. So it is or at least should be a worthwhile investment.

 

However, if you really think that your marketing is only costing you money… Stop doing, what you’re doing right now! You’re obviously not doing anything that is creating value for you. You will have to take a step back and ask yourself why what you have been doing hasn’t been working. Are you targeting the right people? Is your message clear enough? Are you using communication channels that your target group is actually using? Does anyone actually want what you’re offering? Are you too expensive? What are your competitors doing?

You might have to go back to the drawing board and look at your business and marketing strategy.

 

Marketing is by no means a silver bullet and there is trial and error involved, but it is important to see it as an investment, not as a cost. Like with any investment, make sure that you measure the return on your investment – at least as much as possible – so that you know whether what you’re doing is working or not. This awareness will guide you in the right direction and before you know it, your marketing cost will pay for itself!

 

If you are interested in a conversation about marketing support for your business, please don’t hesitate to contact Shoots Marketing Consulting on julia@shootsmarketing.com.au or 0447 235 000 .
by Julia Williams 19 Jun, 2017

Are you one of the 27% of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that don’t have a company website? Or do you have one, but you’re not happy with it and would like to update it?

 

This blog post will give you some pointers regarding what to look out for when you’re setting up a new website.

 

Websites are an essential tool for any company nowadays. They provide information about your business, products, services and how to contact you, serve as a business card, represent your brand, provide an online sales platform, let people find you online… There are many reasons why businesses need a website. However, when it creating and managing websites, there are a few things that can go wrong.

 

1.) Content management control : When you involve an external contractor to set up your website, make sure that you will end up having access to the content management system of the website when it is finished. You want to be able to make quick copy and image changes yourself, possibly create new pages and the like.

If your contractor won’t let go of the website control, they will be an on-going drain of money as only they can make changes to your website and will charge you for that. If the website set up is cheap in the beginning, they might have worked out a way of making sure they will earn money in the long-term.

 

2.) CMS user friendliness : Ask for a demonstration of the content management system (CMS) before you get the website set up. Some content management systems can be really difficult to use. This can be a pain in the butt on an every day level and also prohibit you from making the website look and work the way you want it to. It is worthwhile giving it a “test drive” before you commit to it in order to make sure you will be comfortable with it.

 

3.) Custom code integration : Can custom code – e.g. specifically developed by a website developer – be integrated into your website or are you limited by what the content management system will allow? It is important to ask this question so that you can make sure that you can create the website to do exactly what you would like it to do.

 

4.) SEO friendliness : SEO (search engine optimisation) is important for your website as it will only be found online when you are using the right keywords on your website in the copy and also in other places (images, headlines, links, blogs, videos, etc.).

Google and other search engines are so successful because they provide relevant information to the people who are looking for it. E.g. if you search for “garden plants” you will expect to find a selection of websites that are probably going to be relevant for this search term.

You will therefore want to know what the most commonly searched keywords relating to your business and industry are and make sure that they will be used on your website. Getting someone to assist you with this who has a good understanding of SEO is important in order to make your website visible online.

 

5.) Website migration : So, you want to change your domain name and create a new website? This can be an absolute SEO nightmare as if you don’t redirect your old website pages to your new website pages in the right way, you will lose any SEO ranking you already had for your old website.

It is really important to get someone with expertise in migrating websites and redirecting links from your old pages to your new pages to help you with this challenge. Otherwise you will be starting from scratch in terms of SEO ranking.

 

6.) Statistics : Do you know how many users are visiting your website? Can you look this up in your content management system (CMS) or via an external tool such as Google Analytics?

If you don’t have access to your website’s statistics you are basically flying blind and have no idea whether anyone is actually looking at the information you provide on your website or whether your efforts to drive people to your website through your marketing activities is actually working or not.

Google Analytics is a tool that can usually be implemented relatively easily and does provide a ton of insights. You can also set up custom reports, filter out visits you don’t want to count (such as from your own staff) and get tips on how to improve your website from a search engine perspective. And best of all: It does not cost a cent.

 

7.) Mobile friendliness : This is almost a given nowadays, but nonetheless absolutely critical for the user experience and Google ranking.

You have to make sure that your website will be optimised for mobile phones, which means that it shows your website data in a different way on mobiles than it would on a desktop. This makes it easier to read and navigate on a mobile and improves the user experience.

 

8.) Photography : The visual representation of your company, products and brand is extremely important – no matter what your industry is. Therefore, I strongly recommend making sure that you have high quality images available. Always check what resolution is required to make your images look the best they can. Nothing is worse than pixelated and distorted photos all over your website.

You can get high quality images either through professional photography (e.g. of your premises, staff, products, etc.) or by purchasing stock images online. If you have some time to spare, there are also some websites with free stock images available, but it takes a bit of time and effort to find them. Some website builder platforms also include free stock images that you can use, but of course other companies might be using the same ones and it could create a “seen that before somewhere” feeling when people visit your website.

If you don’t have the funds for professional photography, ask in your circle of friends if there is anyone with a passion for photography that would be happy to help out. Quite often that is still better than using your iPhone photos.

Either way, check that your photos look good on the desktop and mobile versions of your website.

 

9.) User experience : This point should probably be the first point because it is so important, but I started off with more technical aspects.

Absolutely critical for the success of your website is the experience your (potential) customers will have on your website. Is your menu visible and logically structured? Is it easy to buy products online? What are the website page loading times (very important for SEO also!)? Are your contact details easy to find?

The key is to make anything you might want your customers to do on your website as easy as possible for them. I would recommend to get family, friends and maybe even some customers you have a good relationship with to test drive your new website before it is launched. Ask them for honest feedback as only this way will you actually be able to improve.

 

I hope this selection of tips will be useful for you when you are setting up your next website. Whilst writing this blog post I kept thinking of more and more points I could add, which shows that it is not that straight forward to set up a website and that there are a lot of things to be aware of.

 

Have you had any good or bad experiences when setting up your website? Please share your experience in the comments below.

 

If you are interested in a conversation about marketing support for your business, please don’t hesitate to contact Shoots Marketing Consulting via  julia@shootsmarketing.com.au or by calling  0447 235 000 .

by Julia Williams 06 Jun, 2017

You might be considering trying out social media for your business or you have dabbeled in it, but don’t really know what to post and how? Here is my guide to successful social media posting as a business :

 

Firstly, why should you be on social media as a business? Well, you might be missing out on an effective way to reach your target audience and build relationships with them. Facebook now has almost 2 billion active users per month globally. More locally, 16 million Australians are now using Facebook on a monthly basis and we’re spending 12.5 hours per week on Facebook alone. That is a lot of users and a lot of time spent on this medium. Why not at least try to engage with potential customers this way?

 

But before you get ready to post, ask yourself, what your goals are: What do you want to achieve? Is it brand awareness, relationship building, lead capturing, event advertising, a combination of them all? It might make a big difference whether you are looking to build relationships or trying to capture leads as quickly as possible.

 

Who is your target audience and how can you find them on Facebook? Are they among your family and friends? Are they in certain groups (be careful not to appear to be too “sales-y” in groups, especially if you have just joined them)? Can you reach them via Facebook advertising?

 

Define your brand personality : do you want to appear friendly, approachable, professional, corporate, as an expert, a mate, … Write in the appropriate tone for your brand personality. Good examples of brand personality would be Origin Energy or Ubank who speak their customers language and therefore appear more approachable: “You’ll …”, “We’ve…”.

 

Facebook is making it harder to get reach without advertising. Facebook algorithms are limiting your Facebook posts’ visibility – especially if they are too “sales-y”. Try to provide relevant content to get more reach and not be filtered out of the newsfeed.

 

But what can you write about? Think of potential “ pain points ” your target group(s) might have and show them how you can solve a problem for them. E.g. you are a physio and your potential customers might have a back problem. Share news articles, your own blog posts or videos about how regular exercise can help with strengthening your core muscles and alleviate back pain. Of course include a link to your website so that they can get in touch or read more on your blog. This way you’re adding value, establishing yourself as an expert, and are building and nurturing relationships. Don’t just sell your product or services too obviously unless you have a product launch, promotion or special offer and it might make sense to do so. When people are using social media, they are there to communicate and enjoy interesting social content, not primarily to shop. It’s a bit like going to your mate’s party and only talking about your work and your new product. People will get bored of it pretty quickly and not want to be sold to in a social environment.

 

Try to engage your audience in a conversation by asking questions like “We absolutely love green this season! What is your hot new colour?” (Sorry, I couldn’t think of a better example…)

 

Content is king in social media. The more interesting content you can produce and share, the better. This could be anything like a blog post, recipe, interesting fact, photos, podcasts, videos, live videos (the new thing!), etc.

Don’t try to do everything at once. You will quickly get overwhelmed and social media becomes a full-time job. Start with whatever you feel comfortable with, get some experience and then try out anything else that seems interesting. However, be aware that Facebook currently favours videos in the newsfeeds including or particularly live videos, which is their baby.

 

But what happens if you have a promotion or specific offer you would like to share with potential customers? You could try out Facebook advertising as you can target your ads so that they are shown to the kind of people who might actually turn into customers (e.g. kids clothing ads to mothers of young children, wedding expo ads to people who have recently got engaged, etc.).

Don’t “boost” your posts as this is not targeted and may not reach the right kind of people.

Make sure to use a specific offer rather than just generally advertising your services; this increases the conversion rate significantly.

 

Whenever appropriate, drive traffic to your website by including links to your website. Keep in mind that the more clicks they have to make, the more people you lose, so the link has to lead to the right page.

 

Remember to keep it clean , be appropriate and in line with your brand personality. When you get negative comments – unless they are inappropriate, trolling, or discriminating –try not to just delete them, but try to be polite and deal with them in a positive manner or just ignore them if there is no point getting into an argument with the person, as it this could make it worse.
A great saying to think of is “Don’t argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

 

And last, but not least, give it a go . You can’t just post once and expect this to make a big difference to your business. Try to commit to posting at least once a week, if not daily and stick with it for a couple of months as a minimum in order to see whether it might work for your business. You will gain more experience along the way, become more confident regarding what to post, find out what people like, learn about your customers, develop ads that work, etc. If you give up after a week, of course you won’t see a difference in your sales. Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither are the “overnight” social media success stories you hear about.

 

And now, over to you: Go and socialise!

 

Please share your experiences with social media as a business in the comments below.

If you are interested in a conversation about marketing support for your business, please don’t hesitate to contact Shoots Marketing Consulting on Julia@shootsmarketing.com.au or 0447 235 000 .

by Julia Williams 04 May, 2017

Have you been wondering “Why is everyone saying we should use digital marketing? Does my business actually need it?”?

Maybe your sales are ticking along, you get most of your business through word of mouth, and you feel like digital marketing would be a big time commitment that you can’t justify given you’re so busy?

Maybe you are using Facebook socially, but using it for the business seems a bit daunting?


Let’s just clarify what digital marketing is. It is actually an umbrella term of marketing products and services such as search engine optimisation (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), content marketing, e-commerce, social media, e-newsletters, e-books and online display ads.

 

If you have a company website, it is important to be able to use this as a “business card” for potential customers and an information channel for existing customers.

However, you also want to be able to be found in search engines when someone is looking for a product or service like yours. This is where you may need to invest some time and/or money in search engine optimisation (SEO) .

 

As it is very hard to get to the top of Google with search engine optimisation alone, especially in competitive industries, you could try if search engine marketing (SEM) provides you with better results. This of course does not come for free either, therefore you will want to make sure that you are measuring the results of your ads and having a process in place to convert leads you are getting into sales.

 

This sounds a bit daunting, right? But don’t despair, there is another way of being visible on the internet too and it is incredibly powerful: social media .

Facebook is being actively used by 66% of Australians. 1 in 2 Australians use YouTube and 1 in 2 businesses are on LinkedIn. In other words: the audience is massive!

Smart phones have overtaken any other device in terms of popularity and make social media accessible anywhere at all times. People spend and average of 12.5 hours a week on Facebook alone, checking in several times a day. This should demonstrate the power of this medium.

It is absolutely free to join Facebook, as you probably know, and it is also absolutely free to create a company page. And even better: Facebook ads are more affordable than Google ads and tend to be effective. 58% of SMEs and 98% of large businesses that have advertised on Facebook believe it has been effective. That sounds more promising, right?

 

Now, that’s where the so-called “ content marketing ” becomes important. “Content” is the heart of all your digital marketing activities. Google loves content and so does social media.

The key is to consistently generate content on your website and social media platforms that is relevant to your target customers. Therefore you will need to dedicate some time to thinking of topics that might be interesting, like pain points that your potential customers are dealing with, industry trends, changes that affect your industry, etc.

To distribute your message, you can write a blog on your website (like this one), post a link or photo on social media platforms, create an e-book and use this as “bait” to come to your website and sign up to your e-newsletter, you can create a “live” video, properly produced videos, podcasts, etc.

Whatever you write or create, you want to make sure that you offer advice or a solution for the problem you have made your audience aware of and link the post back to your website or include a call-to-action such as: “If you need help with (…), please call us on (…).”

 

And ideally, you also get potential prospects to sign up to your e-newsletter and keep them informed about new products, services, events, offers and whatever else you might want to tell them. A big e-newsletter database is a very powerful tool to get your message to your audience quickly and also to build trust, as they will hear from you regularly.

 

To sum it up: Digital marketing can be daunting, but is very effective at reaching your target customers due to the high penetration of social media into our business and social lives. Small, medium and large businesses are successfully generating leads by generating content on digital marketing platforms and are convinced that it works.

 Your competitors are out there, advertising, generating content, building online relationships with potential customers and are converting leads into sales. It is working for at least the majority of companies. It would probably work for yours too.

 

Please let me know in the comments section below if you agree or disagree.

 If you are interested in a conversation about digital marketing support for your business, please don’t hesitate to contact Shoots Marketing Consulting on Julia@shootsmarketing.com.au or 0447 235 000.

by Julia Williams 21 Apr, 2017
Most small business owners with a limited budget take care of their marketing activities themselves. This means website development, copy writing, creating flyers, advertising, social media, etc.

So off you go, you put together a website, brochure or flyer describing your great product or service. You go live, distribute the materials, but you don’t get much of a response? What’s going wrong?

Too often in my corporate and consulting career, I have noticed that a simple thing called “call to action” gets forgotten about. It seems so obvious to the business owner or product managers what great features their product has and why people should buy it, but they forget to spell out to the customer what to do next. This is a real shame as it is giving away an opportunity to convert customer interest into sales.

It is relatively easy to fix this, but you have to remember to do this whenever you are creating marketing materials and content. The secret it: Put yourself into the customer’s shoes. What is it you want them to do? Is this obvious to the customer?

Do you want them to contact you? Do you want them to sign up to your e-newsletter? Do you want them to buy a product? Whatever it is, make sure you are saying clearly what the customer should do next.

Here are a few tips for creating a strong “call to action”:

  • Spell it out! Say what it is you want the customer to do next. 
  • Make sure the “call to action” is easily visible on the marketing material and no effort is required to find your contact details. 
  • Use the “KISS” rule (“Keep it short and simple!”)
  • Use quirky wording to get the customer’s attention such as “Try it, you’ll love it!”.
  • Create a sense of urgency (“Sign up for free now!”).
  • Create “call to action” buttons on your website such as “Start your free trial!”, “Contact us!” or “Get a free quote!”. 
  • Use bold font and bright colours to attract attention if it fits your style. 
  • Mention the “call to action” in as many places as it seems appropriate. You have to give your potential clients several opportunities to act along the journey through your marketing materials. They might use one of them. 

Another good example is social media posts . Often, small and also bigger companies post truly interesting content on their social media accounts – after all, that’s what you are meant to do on social media, right? So they post news about their company, information about new products or industry news, but they forget to create a link to their own website, thereby missing the opportunity to let potential customers find out more about their products and possibly even buy them.

You could even simply include your business phone number in the post, if you want to be called about a product or service and say “We’d love to talk to you about how (our solution) can help you with (customer problem). Please call us on (insert phone number)!”.

Don’t give away opportunities to convert customer interest into sales anymore. Remember to put yourself into your customer’s shoes and literally tell them what to do next . I am sure you will find that this easy fix will make a difference to your sales.

I hope you found this blog post helpful and would be glad to hear about your experience with making tweaks to wording on your marketing materials and what impact this has had. Leave a comment below or email me at julia@shootsmarketing.com.au ! (Of course I had to include a call to action to prove my point.)

Shoots News

by Julia Williams 18 Sep, 2017

Are you struggling with fear of success? “Wait, did you not mean failure?”, I hear you say, but no, I meant “success”.

 

Why would anyone be afraid of success and what does that mean?

 

As an entrepreneur I can tell you I have been afraid of success as well as of failure. Probably equally.

 

While I was launching my consulting business, I sometimes held back with trying out new marketing activities because I was afraid they would work and I would get too many new enquiries. But then you have to dip your toe in at some stage and just give it a go. And most of the time it is not as scary as you thought and although there were some leads coming in, I was not inundated with leads either. Actually, that would have been a good problem to have.

 

But I am not alone with this “problem”. When I worked for a big coporate company I dealt with some colleagues who seemed to be blocking the project I was leading and were trying to delay the product launch.

When I dug a bit deeper the person who was blocking the project the most admitted that they thought the product was actually going to be successful, but they weren’t sure whether they had enough resources to deal with the leads.

After I assured him that we could cut back the customer communication immediately if we noticed that too many leads were coming in, he agreed to support the project and it ended up being a success – with full control over how many leads we were going to get each week.

 

Are you also holding back with trying out new marketing activities in case they might work?

Why don’t you learn from my example and just give it a go? If you really get tons of leads you can work out a way of dealing with that then and shut down that magical Facebook ad ASAP, but the reality is that there is usually no silver bullet and that getting leads is much harder than you think.

 

You might try something out and nothing happens, you might try something out and it actually works, but if you don’t try it out at all, you will never know which way it would have gone.

 

Still hesitating? Do you need a push? Let’s have a chat!

 

If you are interested in a conversation about marketing support for your business, please don’t hesitate to contact Shoots Marketing Consulting on julia@shootsmarketing.com.au or 0447 235 000 .

by Julia Williams 11 Aug, 2017

So, you have a website and everyone is telling you that appearing at the top of Google is critical for your business to get found online. But how do you get there?

 

There are basically two ways of getting to the top of Google – one is through SEO (search engine optimisation) and the other one is through Google AdWords . But which one is the right one for your business or are both required?

 

The answer is not that straight forward, which is why you might end up spending too much money on one of of the two options. Here is my assessment of both options:

 

1.) SEO is not free! Despite the fact that you’re not paying for clicks to your website, search engine optimisation usually requires expertise, time and consistency. Unless you are in a very particular niche and you don’t have a lot of competitors, it can take months or years to get to the top of search engines.

Google ranks websites based on their relevance regarding a specific search term and you not only have to make sure your website is relevant and optimised for the search term you want to appear under, you also have to create relevant content featuring the search term and “backlinks” (links leading to your website from other websites) to your website to demonstrate that it is actually relevant to others too. Links that you can “buy”, like directory listings, don’t count, by the way.

You can either spend a lot of time on this yourself, or you can hire someone to do this for you, which – of course – costs you money.

 

2.) Google AdWords is a short cut to the top, but can be an expensive one . The cost of a Google ad varies significantly based on the competition for this search term. It can cost from a few cents to hundreds of dollars. You can set a maximum value for a so-called “bid” that you’re prepare to pay.

To know which keywords are the expensive ones, you can look at the Google Keywords Planner, which will give you keyword suggestions relating to your business, and the ones with the “high” competition are usually the most expensive ones. You might want to have a look through the “medium” to “low” ranked keywords instead and check whether any of them are also relevant to your business so that you can reduce your costs, but still get clicks.

You can set a maximum daily budget you’re prepared to spend too. Of course that will also limit the amount of clicks you can get.

Google AdWords requires some trial and error, but over time you’ll be able to narrow down which keywords are working for you and how many clicks you can get to your website. Be sure to set restrictions like the location(s) your ads are relevant for. If you don’t offer your service on a national level, there is no point paying for an ad to appear in an area you don’t service.

 

My recommendation is : Make sure you know what your target audience is interested in and what they are searching for online by using the Google AdWords Keyword Planner as a guide (“high” competition). Optimise your website to feature these keywords in text, image titles, meta data, website titles, anywhere you can fit them in without doing “keyword stuffing”, which is penalised by Google.

Follow general SEO rules such as improving your page speed, having a mobile friendly website, removing text duplications from your website, having lots of content on your website such as blogs, so that Google can get an impression of what you offer and what your website is all about, try to get links to your websites onto other websites, e.g. by doing PR campaigns or getting your clients or suppliers to include them on their websites as a partner or a recommendation.

Maximise your limited AdWords budget by targeting only the locations you actually service and selecting relevant keywords from the “medium” to “low” competition category of suggested keywords.

 

Another tip is to set up a Google My Business profile , which makes you look professional when people are searching for your business (select some nice photos of your business and products). The link to your business might also appear in one of the upper areas of the Google search without having to pay for it, provided there is not too much competition in your area.

 

As with anything, it’ll take practice, trial and error, persistence, checking, readjusting, learning and some investment – be it time or money or both, but you’ll get there eventually.

 

If you are interested in a conversation about marketing support for your business, please don’t hesitate to contact Shoots Marketing Consulting on julia@shootsmarketing.com.au or 0447 235 000 .

by Julia Williams 31 Jul, 2017

How do you know when you might need some marketing support for your business and what can a marketing consultant do for you? Below are a few good reasons why you should invest in hiring a marketing consultant.

 

1.   Reason: You’re flat out …sometimes

This is a good problem to have at first glance. You obviously have done a good job selling your products or services and have generated enough business to keep you busy. But are your leads coming in continuously? Or does your lead generation suffer when you’re actually busy working for your clients. Once the project is finished, there may be nothing in the pipeline and you have to start looking for new clients?
A marketing consultant could help you with continuing your marketing activities while you’re busy and making sure there is more business waiting for you when you have finished the job.

 

2.   Reason: You’re working “in” the business, but not “on” the business

Similar to the first reason, this has got to do with being too busy. You are busy working “in” the business and don’t have time to think beyond the jobs that have to be done by the end of the week.

A marketing consultant can lend you an external perspective and get you to think about the long-term plan for your business. Do you want or need to grow? If so, a marketing consultant can help you to set targets and develop a plan to achieve these. With regular follow-up meetings, they can also help you to keep your eyes on the prize and not get sucked back into the every day tasks only.

 

3.   Reason: You don’t know where to start

“Getting the word out there” sounds easy enough, but you don’t want to waste your money on marketing activities that don’t work? Do people actually still read newspapers? Do I have to spend tons of money on radio and TV advertising? Social media scares you? Every day a different “marketing guru” tells you how you can earn millions if you just follow their fool-proof 5-step method (and pay them $1,000)?

It can be very confusing, but if you get a marketing consultant to help you with focusing on who your target group is, which media they actually use and pay attention to, it could save you a lot of time and money.

 

4.   Reason: You’re doing the same thing you’ve always done

You have worked hard to grow your business and you have been successful with getting the word out there. But recently it seems to be a bit “quiet” out there?

The marketing landscape has changed quite a lot over the last 10 years. Consumers (and businesses) are behaving differently when they are searching and considering products or services and are also expecting a lot more from companies nowadays. Whether it is a website, social media presence, professional graphic design, a decent Google ranking, good product reviews, e-mail marketing, … The list goes on. Is it time for your business to try out some new lead generation techniques?

 

5.   You have a business idea

Fantastic! You have a business idea… Many people never really have “that” idea.

However, you’re not sure whether it will work? You have no idea how to create a business plan or a marketing plan? How much will you actually be able to earn with your idea? How big is the market? Does anyone actually want your product or service?

A marketing consultant can help you with answering these questions and develop a business and marketing plan for you. It might be worthwhile investing in doing the “homework” before you spend a lot of time and money on creating a business that may not work or not actually earn as much as you would think.

 

If you are interested in a conversation about marketing support for your business, please don’t hesitate to contact Shoots Marketing Consulting on julia@shootsmarketing.com.au or 0447 235 000 .

More posts
If you want to stay on top of the latest marketing trends, follow us on social media and sign up to our e-newsletter below.

Stay in the Loop - sign up to our e-newsletter!

We respect your privacy and will never sell, rent, lease or give away your information. Please refer to our privacy policy.
Share by: