Owning your own business is awesome when it works, but it can also be frustrating when you don’t get the results you want. I’ve helped over 10,000 people to grow businesses. Often with no budget or time, often quadrupling profits in a short amount of time, so let’s look at 7 reasons why your business is failing and how to fix it
Social media should be part of your marketing strategy, not it’s entirety. Imagine Facebook disappeared tomorrow, what would you do? I often find business owners pouring tons of time (and money) into social media but without altering the next 6 fails they will fail to make it work. Social media is reliant on you doing something — either physically adding content and/or spending money. Consider blogging works 24/7 and is evergreen marketing — i.e., it works when you aren’t.
This graphic is not the prettiest, but it sums up how you need to think about marketing — what 8 to 10 tools will you use?
When you start a business it’s great when people are buying, but if you don’t know the science behind why people buy you are missing out on the opportunity to get people buying often with little input from you. All of my clients can tell you where they met their clients, what issues their clients have, where they like to shop, even what TV shows they like and what car they are likely to drive. Knowing this information is essential. When I teach people how to blog or communicate to sell, I teach them how to find the power words and the power sentences. These are the powerful hooks that make people want to learn more.
If you can’t tell me what your competition are charging, what they are selling and how they are getting to their customers, you are missing a trick. If you can’t tell me whether your customers are using Tik Tok or Facebook, real books or electronic, you are missing a trick. Trends change. In marketing the humble leaflet went through years of neglect. Now it’s back with a vengeance as we tire of looking at screens and want something tangible. Our needs change all the time. You don’t need to obsess about the competition, but you do need to know what they are doing and how it could impact on you and your customers. Remember competition is also an opportunity for collaboration.
If you want to grow, you first need to know where you are. How many followers on social media? How much interaction? How many visits to your website? How many sales? What were they buying? I can help a company increase profit just by looking at the numbers and working out what to sell, what to promote and what to increase in price. It’s scary increasing prices, so the next fail is essential to learn from.
When I set up my own business in the 2008 recession, I made the mistake of trusting everyone I met. That was ridiculous, it led me to spending money on things I couldn’t afford and weren’t essential to getting a business off the ground. I learnt the hard way, so you don’t have to. Don’t assume that someone on social media with an ability to use Canva to make pretty posts is going to be good for business. Last year I saw new clients who had gone elsewhere before working with me who had collectively wasted over £150,000!
Ask for proof that person / business can help so you don’t go it alone. It will be so much harder I promise you. I’ve a mastermind group you can join for £10. Why is it so cheap? Because I live by my tagline “As passionate about your success as you are”. Look for people like me and ask for proof. You want to actually speak to happy customers, so you know your profits are being invested in the right places. It will be essential to have the right help to ensure you don’t fall for the next fail.
In business I tell clients that if they want to grow their business, they need to find 25% of their time to do it in. You have to be consistent in anything you want to get results in. But don’t fight who you are. If you don’t like structured goals, then keep it fluid with a basic structure that is allowed to be deviated from.
If you need structure, then check your diary and schedule time to get it done. Do you need a whole day a week? A half day? Or will you get bored? In which case make it 30-minute chunks. Be consistent in your marketing, your customer care, your networking, your growth and your attention to your health too. This is another reason why working with a coach is so powerful because we not only help you write the plan and its actions, but we also make sure you take action and get the results you said you would!
And lastly of all the fails in business, not following upis a crime against your success. Many of my business owner clients make more money just from following up. Before you go looking for new business, you will be amazed how much you can do with your existing client base. Get in touch with past customers, ask them to recommend you and/or leave a review. Google My business is a neglected tool to business growth — you don’t need a million reviews to benefit from local targeted traffic.
It does involve confidence to do effective follow up but then a successful business will always need confidence, so always make sure that’s on your side.
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Get this right and people don’t just buy once, they become brand ambassadors (telling everyone!) And it enables you to up sell, side sell and re sell – with less effort!
Take the time to answer the questions on each level of Mandie’s Sales Mountain and this information can be then transferred to your marketing strategy and drives the content you create, the style of communication and what products and services you offer.
Often people have great ideas but limited connection between everything. The more powerful and succinct your message, the easier it is for customers to see why they should buy from you and how they can do that.
And it is important to remember that people like to hold on to their beliefs – so their “No’s” on why they aren’t buying won’t be fixed by you selling at them. You have to enable them to explore this for themselves, in a low risk, safe way so that they change their mind naturally – the science and psychology of a sale is fascinating and getting your sales mountain right makes that happen.
In my new course that looks at how to find your target audiences the sales mountain is great for helping you speak in different ways to different audiences and even ensure you manage your time better – spending the most time with the people that spend the most – a mistake many businesses make is investing hard in trying to change people’s mind. It rarely works that way and you can quickly become a busy fool.
And if you really want to put this into action in your business – check out my Marketing Production Line – I’m really pleased with the calibre of results my online course clients get. Learn more here
Want to put this into action and test and measure the quality of your findings? The Insiders could be a great way to ensure you take action, stay focused and learn what you need to. It’s only £5 a month and it’s my Confidential Mastermind Group – and the Insiders are a truly awesome group of business owners from around the world. Do join us! Learn more here.
And if you benefit from this quick read a thank you by pressing the donate button is much appreciated. Do let me know what actions you take. I aim to be accessible to all businesses and the donate button means that those that can not afford or justify investing in coaching at this time can still get some of the tools and strategies that help my clients grow very successful businesses.
Recently I’ve delivered social media training to the NHS Entrepreneurial Programme and some other companies (who wish to remain confidential) and I thought I’d share some key messages here for you to benefit from too.
When used right LinkedIn can do a lot for your success. Personally it has led to new clients, speaking engagements, PR opportunities, Awards and even being asked to write Fight the Fear for one of the UK’s leading non fiction publishers, Pearsons. That book is now in 5 languages and is sold around the world!
I also know of one company who found investors for their product who handed over 1 million pounds!
Seriously if LinkedIn is a forgotten unloved CV to you, it’s time to give it some love and get it working powerfully for you and your success.
2. T.R.U.S.T – 5 styles of a 60 seconds elevator pitch to help you hone what you say and why you say it. (This can also make up the back bone of a 5 month marketing strategy to save you time and ensure you present a powerful brand no matter where people find you. There is a course that accompanies this – Supercharge Your 60 Seconds click here to learn more or take the course.
3. Marketing Production Line Course download your copy.If your marketing strategy is utilising between 8 and 10 tools listed on this worksheet you should be able to successfully engage with your target audiences, raise your profile, make sales, get asked to speak at events, retain customers and grow your business. Remember to be useful, relevant and interesting and monitor the results you get. Ask “What needs to change?” “What is not working?” etc. etc. There is an accompanying course which you can learn more about here. It could help you create a powerful structure and strategy to marketing success – without spending a sack of cash.
4. I host a confidential mastermind group for very busy professionals. Where you can research ideas, test out your marketing material, practice your video blogging, learn new skills, find solutions and gain mentoring and coaching from me too. It is £5 a month and I often give the Insiders additional ideas and support that I’ve created for clients too. You can learn more and join us here.
A little rant today I’m afraid….Hope you get it and helps you…
Thank you for connecting with me, I’ve not qualified myself for this communication but hey let’s get right in there and let me tell you why I’m brilliant, and no matter how successful you are, and I know I don’t know you at all since we connected 7 minutes ago here on LinkedIn I know you aren’t as successful as you could be because you don’t have me in your life (hey that may sound arrogant but I started selling at you in a message 7 minutes after connecting with you, so what were you expecting?)
So I’ve got this programme/proven plan/8 figure strategy that will revolutionise your life (see again I’m assuming your business is in dire straits and you need me? Did you see that twice in our first ever communication? I’m really connecting with you aren’t I!)
I’m now going to waffle on for another 4 paragraphs telling you how fabulous I am and about the many amazing things I’ve achieved with my clients who are all living perfect lives so surely that qualifies me to jump on a call with you so I can close the deal? When do you want that call today or tomorrow?”
Great message right? Okay so I may have been a little sarcastic here, however what has sparked this growing trend in this type of spam?
Does it work? Is it about crunching the numbers and for every person like me that is irratated by the rudeness and lack of professionalism there are 8 people that are happy to jump on that call?
On researching for this article I discovered that according to LinkedIn (the ones in the know!) there is no right time or wrong time to get in touch according to best day of the week or time of the day however it is the short and concise messages that were directed to individuals who you tailored your message to them (just them, not a thousand people that fit a profile like them) that got the best results.
In other words, your bulk sending of spam is not going to work as well as getting to know people and build relationships!
I can’t be the only one bored by these people who have no respect for my time? I love my online network, and I’m happy to have direct conversations learning more about you and what you do. (Remember the bigger your network and the more well informed you are about your network the more useful you can be, the more opportunities you naturally get to touch base and to help and you stick in people’s minds for all the right reasons. The perfect example is again this week I had the kind of message I often get “Mandie we are open a new restaurant who do you think we need to invite?” Do you think that kind of request comes about because I post a lot or because I’ve a genuine interest in knowing my online community?
It is also the reason I get rebooked as a speaker for big exhibitions and events because they know they can trust me to support them and their planned outcomes, not sell at their audiences and make a difference – all constantly reflected in my online communication. It gives you something to think about right?
Ultimately these spam messages rarely work on someone you’ve just connect with because it is still about building relationships and listening. These direct messages miss out on the foundations of communication success;
These direct sales messages remind me of some business owners that start to share how and why you MUST work with them, and they don’t realise that the potential customer will get there in their own time, not in theirs. As I often tell clients it is not your job to sell at potential clients it is your job to showcase why you and enable them to get there “naturally” in their own time. (When you learn sales processes, your target audiences and the communication that is powerful to your business it becomes a lot easier and is the science of getting customers returning again and again and telling everyone about you too! You flow at sales when you know this knowledge, not by spamming everyone you can connect with!
Communication is a fundamental power to our business success. In every aspect of our professional lives we have to be able to communicate powerfully (and if you want your personal life to run smoothly communication is just as powerful there.) So the next time you communicate with someone you feel you could help don’t be on your agenda, be on theirs.
And don’t send diatribe like the above. Which is becoming a daily delete exercise for so many busy people. And guess what how likely are you to read / stay connected / or follow up on any of their future posts?
Crazy move right?
I’m incredibly honest and won’t waste your time, so if you have something you’d like to see covered in my blog please feel free to message me. Most articles are as a result of a clients discoveries (confidentially created obviously) or messages where someone has said “What are you thoughts on this?” I’m happy to help. Happy to chat and happy to hear from you.
Let’s connect on social media….so I can sell at you….only kidding!
Recenly I spoke for one of the worlds largest employers about the basics of successful social media. I don’t claim to be an expert however I know how to utilise it to grow and sustain my own business and my clients.
We also explore the foundations that every business needs to understand and abide by to ensure sustainability, growth and respecting your own personal and professional values and beliefs.
Here are the 2 worksheets I suggested as guidelines too. You are welcome to download a copy.
Sorry to be a bit blunt however recently I’ve been inundated with private messages saying things like “Hi Mandie can you just share this please.” Or “Love your work Mandie, can you just tell everyone about what I do please?” Add that to the pile of emails asking me to submit someone else’s work to an international publication with my name on it (clearly, I won’t do that because it goes against my ethos, honesty, credibility and reputation) and you’ve a bucket loads of request every day of every week that basically want to jump on my marketing bandwagon and expect me to market their organisations for them.
So that’s good, right?
It does mean that my message is getting out there, and when you’ve sold your courses to Brazil and gained clients in the US as well as receiving “thanks for the book” messages from South Africa clearly my marketing is working, so what can I do to help you (fast) so you can get similar results without treating my business like a charity?
Lose the lies (half-truths!)
You know the posts that say they made 2 million in the time it takes to make a cuppa, or someone lost 10 inches in 7 minutes or cured cancer with carrot juice? Okay so I may be over exaggerating on the claim here, but the fact is that some people’s claims are so far fetched we sweep past them faster than the lost property bin that we had to wear if we’d forgotten our gym kit at school. Just as we don’t believe that we all have to buy our sofas in October to get them for Christmas or that we all have to go on a diet in January because Christmas is over, we don’t believe the big stories that people share. So, if they are true, you need to post more than one post claiming those results. You need to build a story around them, share real-life people talking about them, not just an image of your product with your handwriting over the top saying “wow!” If you want us to believe you, create the proof. Remember the Meme of Abraham Lincoln saying, “It must be true I read it on Facebook”? Well, this is a good indication that we’ve become incredibly cynical to what we read, so put in the effort and give us the science, facts and statistics.
I rarely talk about my coaching and yet don’t suffer from a lack of business. Why? Because everything I write or say online is aimed at being useful, relevant and interesting. And I don’t deviate from the subjects I want to get known for. Even if you have 200 products decide the key ones that you want to be known for. Imagine you walk into a room of strangers and someone turns and says, “That’s X, they can help with X” what would that X stand for? For instance, everything I do is about helping people increase sales, confidence and success without spending a sack of cash. If it doesn’t fit my ethos and values around that then I don’t say it or write about it.
Stop selling at me
Ever been walking around a beautiful city and someone has practically jumped in your airspace to wave a clipboard at you? Did you enjoy that experience? Did you aim to not make eye contact and move in any direction other than the way you were going? That is what selling at people does. No one likes it and doesn’t’ matter how good a salesman you are if we feel like it’s a sales pitch we’ve out. So why do you keep selling? I don’t care if you’ve got 10% discount, are just putting in an order or have a magical competition to give away. The fact is you don’t qualify to talk business, products or services until you’ve got to know me. And that takes respect, not selling at people. Start holding genuine conversations and drop the sales talk.
Don’t jump on my bandwagon.
Increasingly I see a great piece of advice or story and someone else uses that opportunity to promote their own products and services. Would a Ford dealership park it’s cars on Ferrari’s forecourt and say “Hey it’s alright if we park these here right, for those that can’t afford the shiny red ones, they could have ours instead?” Of course not, and yet online there seems to be no respect for others Intellectual property. On one of my posts where I was sharing some awesome news about where the rights to my book had been sold and how you should never give up on your big dreams, someone actually added how they could help people achieve their goals and overcome a lack of confidence! The irony is that for those that bother to get to know me, like me and trust me, I go out of my way to connect you and help you grow your success, how likely is that to happen when you sell on my own posts!
Once you know what you want to be known for, you need to ensure you get known for it. Obvious, right? And yet I see people share so many different messages their message becomes so diluted that it’s hard to remember what they do. I can appreciate it is scary to stick to a core message, however, when you are known and loved for that, people will naturally gravitate to signing up to your newsletter, Facebook page, etc and will start to learn about everything else as a result. Thus, consistency is key. Give people the opportunity to fall in love with you and your business. Dump the falsehoods, don’t jump on other people’s marketing bandwagons, stop selling at people and get useful. And if you do this consistently before you know it you will look behind you and discover you’ve a following. You may call it a tribe, or a niche, or a family, whatever you call it they are people ready to learn more and buy, and you didn’t have to sell at them once!
I’m often asked how I manage to look like I’m everywhere and gain new clients when I seem to have a lot of time to do the things I want to do, as well as look after my health. Well, I wouldn’t ask you do to something that I’m not prepared to do myself!
My Marketing Production Line enables me to do just that;
Look like I’m everywhere. (ie raise my profile above the noise of every other “expert”).
Gain new business. (in all areas of my business.)
Gain PR opportunities (for free!)
Gain speaking engagements.
Sell tickets to events.
Grow my online following.
If you are not ready to take the course that you work on at your own pace, as often as you like and can access additional support on The Insiders then you can download a copy of the one-page document to get started here. How many tools are you using?
A new client has no website yet and yet to really get their business seen they need to be blogging, so I suggested they use LinkedIn. They’ve created their first blog and had a moments wobble on whether they really could just put a blog on their LinkedIn profile? Would it get read? Was that professional enough? Could that really help them get seen online? Here is what I replied with in my email. It’s only a short reply however I thought it was apt for so many business owners just starting out who can’t afford a shiny sparkly website yet and yes folks LinkedIn is good for business….get it right and it can be seriously good for business! (It has been for me and my clients this year.)
Regarding your blog ideally you don’t take your target audiences away from your website (and your products and services and other great content) however since you don’t have a website Linkedin’s blog articles look good and can be easily shared so yes I would use their platform and share that way. You have to be careful with a call to action because anything remotely salesly will stop people from reading it again. If its something like “if you loved this then feel free to share/sign up/etc”. then I’d say go ahead. However until you have a following of people that are enjoying your blog, i.e. until you know people are liking it, sharing it and commenting on it I would tread carefully with adding calls to action within your blog. The market is awash with people trying to sell their wares so best to do a blog article that is genuinely fabulously good for others first and then add the CTA (Call to action). (That is my personal preference, I’m sure other marketers and content experts would advise differently. I would also say it depends if you have a good reputation already in any groups. If you do then a CTA in those groups would be fine, because you already have credibility with those people.)
And then this was something else that come up that I thought would be good to share, because I really am not interested in making sacks of cash out of any one person, I genuinely just want to help as many people as possible make those sacks of cash – it’s becoming a life long passion!
Regarding the business coaching it works exactly the same way as any other session with me. We work according to what you bring to the table. So looking at what goals you have set. You can work with me on a one off basis or longer and stop and start whenever you like. My clients vary. Some like to work with me every 6 weeks, others every 2 weeks, others every 3 months. It all depends on how you like to work, how big your goals are, whether you procrastinate, etc. etc. So we would start a session by looking at what you wanted to achieve, and understanding what the goals where for the session. And go from there. I don’t have a minimum spend for a client. I don’t have a silver/gold/platinum level. My clients start the session saying what they want to achieve. And throughout the session we work out how to get to that goal, short medium and long term. And if I tell you recently 1 client achieved some of their goals in 2 days (sales goals) and another achieved their business goals for the year in 3 weeks. And both of these only had 1 session with me so far. Needless to say they want to work with me again moving forward with their businesses. I’m on my clients agenda, never mine. And all clients get homework. Never more than about 5 actions, because its not realistic and clients know they can get in touch for support, advice, etc. when they wish to. I hope that helps and do feel free to get in touch to discuss this more if you wish to. I’m about this week. The goals you have set are quite clear, now you need to break them down into actions and by when. And who what where’s. Obstacles, logistics, etc.
I hope that helps, you see content can so often be transferred from one place and be utilised somewhere else. So in less than 10 minutes I’ve gained some more great content for my Marketing Production Line, not utilising yours yet? Head over to my home page and down load a copy of yours. Its my key to endless good leads and lovely sales, and good bucket full of media too.
I get asked this question a lot by business owners; if I should be adding people automatically to my database. Especially since I tell people that your aim is to grow your data base and turn those lovely contacts into happy customers using the Marketing Production Line. Down load your copy of this here – How to get more customers and increase sales
So if you are networking or attending an expo, what’s the big deal of adding all of those lovely contact details on that shiny business cards mountain in your office to your data base? Here is one such enquiry I recently received:
I’m new to networking and not sure if there’s an etiquette involved.
I received an email with the subject line “Lovely to meet you”. The email, among a few other things, informed me, I had been added to their list and would be contacted 1-2 times a week.
I was surprised, as I didn’t “meet” this person at the event, or even speak with them, and didn’t give them my details to add to a list (which I didn’t think was allowed generally anyway).
I just wanted to check as I wasn’t sure if that is just how networking is, as clearly I can just unsubscribe, but this was all unsolicited and I was a bit undecided what I thought about that.
If it’s all just part of the networking scene, I’m just a bit of a newbie! But I’m not sure I would send people emails claiming to have met them and sending them stuff they hadn’t asked for. But that may just be me, which is why I wanted to check!
Okay so let’s look at the pro’s and con’s of this approach.
Firstly the pros from the viewpoint of the proactive business owner sending the email;
However, what does it say about you and your business that you assumed that the other party would want to buy from you. In theory I have 100’s of people I could add to my mailing list every month and yet I don’t.
I was once advised that business to business by law we are allowed to add each other to our mailing list as long as they are able to “unsubscribe” it is only business to consumer that is not allowed to do this. (I would like to add that I recommend seeking the advice of the experts here. Angela Lock from the FSB Essex would be a good place to start since they have free legal services as part of their membership.) Regardless of whether I can or can not I don’t and the reason why?
Because I have absolute respect for how busy you are. I make no assumptions of what you want, need or wish to achieve. Or on whom you wish to work with. For some people I personify Marmite, I am so cringe worthy they are backing out of the room as if someone is screeching talons down a chalkboard, however for those few there are thousands that love working with me. So I’m happy. And yet I still don’t add anyone to mine or The Business Woman’s Network databases. I do this for a number of reasons.
I think on top of this there are a couple of other cool lessons to be learnt;
And as I published this blog article the business owner in question said that they unsubscribed because it just didn’t work for them. So I think it kind of speaks of volumes right?
Yes you may be allowed business to business to add people to your data base as long as you give them the option to opt out however does it really help build good relationships? Does it really help boost sales?
To add on not to add?
I have my answer. Do you have yours?