30 Apr 15 Ways to Grow Your Business Throughout ’15
The marketing world has undergone a major shift in the past decade. The days that many marketers and business owners are comfortable with have all but disappeared. So, do you cling to the past and reminisce on the good old days?
No. You adapt.”
I’ve learned an astounding amount from my peers, so I thought I’d let them do some of the talking. Take a look at what thought leaders have to say about marketing in 2015 and how you can adapt.
1) Never Stop Listening
Before you do anything on social media, search for what people are saying about your business and your competition. Search the words your prospective clients would use, like “looking for marketing help.” Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and any other social media platform constantly prove to be a valuable source of information. You’ll be surprised how many people are already out there looking for you. -DK
2) Throw away your to-do list and start a victory log.
We all need concrete evidence of progress. Positive reinforcement makes us more inclined to take further action. I once consulted with the president of a boutique web development firm. They rented my brain to help develop an innovative culture. And not just one with people generating ideas, but also rapidly executing on those ideas. My recommendation was to create a company wide victory log. It would serve as a real time register of individual executions to emotionally invigorate the team, keeping momentum alive.
The team dusted off an old computer screen that wasn’t being used, mounted it on the wall and kept a visual record of daily progress. This digital log posted concrete evidence of people’s victories, both big and small. The firm’s president said the screen completely shifted the mindset of the office. It helped tip the scales toward happiness, boosted people’s confidence and encouraged employees to celebrate all of their executions. That’s the power of the victory log. It’s designed to empower you with the daily successes you create. It trains your brain to recall your achievements, plants the positive in your mind and reminds you of your successes. That’s something a to do list can’t do.
3) Fill Your Customers With Surprise and Awe
Are you stuck on how to bring more attention to your company’s social media pages? You have to make it likeable, by figuring out ways to surprise and delight your customers on a regular basis. Contests and raffles encourage your community to join the conversation on social. They’ll connect your company with a positive experience and keep coming back for more! Free is like magic, making a delighted customer more likely to share the experience with close friends and family members. -DK
4) Meaningfully Connect
The key to growth is nurturing relationships. If you don’t know who the influencers are in your industry – find out – and connect with them in a meaningful way.
Meaningful how? Have conversations. Offer insight without being asked – and without trying to sell. Then nurture those relationships by interacting regularly. Identify adjacencies and ways to potentially collaborate. Successful businesses – even those occupying the same space – view competition differently, because they know there’s more than enough work to go around and winning together is easier than going at it alone!
5) Don’t be Afraid to Ask Questions
Do you post on Facebook and hear crickets? It’s probably because you haven’t asked any questions! Social media is all about conversation, not just self-promotion. Ask a question and people are bound to respond. More engagement leads to more views and trust, which leads to more sales! -DK
6) Increase your Integration
With the increasing content and social media noise, small businesses must place increased emphasis and resources on consistent digital marketing integration.
2015 now requires even SMB’s to strategically and consistently create and curate relevant content, that starts conversations, build relationships, and drives the sales funnel.
Companies should focus on blogging, graphic creation, relevant content curation and all at increasing levels. These components must integrate strategically with clear objectives. Failure to rise above the noise of the massive content sites and establish clear objectives, processes and execution in these areas will negatively affect your ability to realize results long-term.
7) Look for Support Among Your Peers
Even if you have the greatest partner in the world, running a business is one of the loneliest jobs on the market. It’s lonely at the top because nobody can understand what you’re going though. Joining Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) in 2010 contributed hugely to the growth of my first company. EO is the world’s largest peer-to-peer network of CEOs, and its most important element is monthly meetings with a small group of fellow entrepreneurs called Forum. My Forum of seven people has become one of the most important resources in my business and life, my closest friends, and a great support system. -DK
8) Find Emotional Points to Tell a Story
In 2015, storytelling will play a huge factor in how brands relate to customers. Finding emotional points and telling them in captivating ways through stories on why your business does what it does to current customers and prospects will keep people emotionally connected to you.
Today, competitors to your small businesses grow left and right. While you may offer the same products, you will never have the same exact story. Let that be your selling point on why you get them the most.
9) Hire Slow, Fire Fast
When I think back to the biggest mistakes I’ve made as an entrepreneur, they all revolve around hiring the wrong people, or worse yet, keeping the wrong people for longer than they should be around. What often happens is, we move too quickly to hire someone and end up hiring the wrong person for the wrong position. Then, even though our intuition tells us we’ve hired the wrong person, we don’t want to accept that fact. We keep trying to justify the decision, coach that person to success, and/or move him to a new position. This is often more damaging than hiring the wrong person in the first place! The solution? Hire slow, fire fast. -DK
10) Control your calendar — control your productivity.
Time management isn’t a sexy topic, but it IS the kingpin of everything you do and how you feel about your work. Do this ONE thing and you’ll have the ability to change your relationship to TIME (especially if you feel overwhelmed and anxious about your work):
Start by putting everything on a physical time slot on a calendar. Everything. Every little bit of work, every appointment, every phone call, every part of everything you do. You will quickly see that you probably don’t have a realistic relationship to the limits of Time.
When you live a calendar-based life you’ll see very clearly where you need to outsource, when you need to let go of unproductive tasks and how you overbooked yourself causing your own experience in life.
11) Create a Goal and Stick to It
So you know what you want to do, but do you stick to it? It’s easy to have a goal, but if you don’t commit to it then it’s easy to forget about it. If you’re going to be successful, it’s not just important to say “Yes” to the right things, it’s important to say “No” to the wrong things. -DK
12) Be authentic
Would you buy something from a business constantly pushing a service? No! Learn to use your own voice and post things people will enjoy reading! Post about the little league team your sponsoring or the awesome costume contest you held at the office! Do you have a few jokes up your sleeve? Go ahead and tell them!. Show off your company’s personality and watch your interactions take off. -DK
13) Be useful!
Add value to the field and find ways to help your clients, peers and competitors.
Yes, I did say, “help your competitors.” Marketing is an ever-evolving field, and none of us have the corner on the market for knowledge. Being a part of a vibrant community of peers will only help your business in the long term.
Always keep learning, then share what you learn. This is a great way to create content to elevate your business, including blog posts, social media updates and your newsletter. If you wonder how it is done, so will others. It will make you a thought leader in your field and your company will be sought out for its ideas.
Create an email newsletter that people actually want to open. Make sure it is short, sweet and something people can’t believe they don’t have to pay for. Be sure you have an offering in every newsletter that will help people. In doing so, you will grow your business exponentially and have a huge mailing list that will serve you well over time.
14) Build an Environment People Want to Work In
It’s a fact that’s hard to swallow; you and your employees spend more awake time at work than you spend at home. If you and your employees don’t enjoy your work environment, you can’t truly succeed. So take those core values you’ve developed and apply them to your working environment. Make sure that you follow those ideals in every aspect of management.
I take great care and time with Likeable Local to create core values that would resonate. We value obsession for customer success, drive, and continuous improvement. As a result, we continually attract the best and the brightest of New York City. -DK
15) Just Be Likeable
What do your customers say when they talk about YOUR company with their friends and family? Do they rave about easy communication, effective listening and great results? Or will they have less than savory things to say? Is your customer service immaculate? Are there displays of community awards? What about your company is remarkable? Make your company #Likeable and your business will boom as a result!
Make sure to tune in to our free webinar 15 Ways to Grow Your Marketing Business in ’15 The thought leaders and I talked at greater length about the above points to help you kick your business into high gear for the rest of 2015.