The Audio Version - 4 mins
Word for week 43: Question
Meaning as noun:
1. a sentence in an interrogative form, addressed to someone in order to get information in reply.
2. a matter of some uncertainty or difficulty; a problem.
Insight: Comes from Mrs. Michelle Obama, who says: “Focus more on learning than on succeeding. Instead of pretending that you understand something when you don’t, just raise your hand, and ask a question.”
So here’s a question…how does the word “question” fit into a database building strategy?
I can tell you, at every twist and turn! Starting with the question: “What is database building?”
The briefest answer I can provide is: “It’s the system you use to build your client list.”
Sounds pretty simple right? Old school methods (some still in use today) included business cards, telephone calls, flyers, and even door-to-door visits played a part in building your client list.
You’d take all of the information, whip out the paper and pens and spend hours trying to decipher various hand-written notes. Even later, when spreadsheets came on the scene, those who were not experts with excel had to hire an admin, or personally take on the challenging job of typing all of the information with accuracy and then managing it in ways that produced really useful results.
We’ve moved ahead quite a bit, from the rather clumsy, time-consuming, uncertain methods of gathering and managing our client lists …so far ahead in fact, that the question I hear most often now is,
“How do I select a system that will help me build my client list?”
The answer of course starts with your individual business requirements, however, once you’ve identified your target audience, the tools we recommend are proven to help you attract more clients.
Most start-up and small business owners are short on time and money, so another question I get a lot is “How much is this going to cost me?”. I like that question a lot because it costs nothing to learn more, a consultation is free, and it costs nothing to use the tools.
The final question I frequently hear is “Does it really work?” To that question I’d point you to many of the clients we’ve assisted in growing their client list, but more importantly, if you’ll take an opportunity to chat with me, you’ll see very clearly, in just a few moments how well our guidance can work for your business or organization.
In the end, it is pretty simple after all …as an owner of a for-profit or the founder of a nonprofit, you need a system that will allow you to nurture your relationships, keep your audiences engaged, reach your target audience wherever they are, integrate with social media and provide you with the information you need to make better business decisions.
Schedule a chat with me …get your questions answered, and see how it all comes together, to help you grow your most valuable business asset…that’s your database!
Until next time … bye bye.
For so long, I used my faithful sewing machine. Over time, I experienced more and more difficulties with various projects, and I always laid the blame on the project. I never really considered getting another machine. I cleaned my machine, oiled it, used the best attachments, and made sure it was in proper working order. However, still with some projects, I struggled with a good clean flow in stitching and overall operation. You may wonder why I didn’t change machines? I loved my machine. It was a good machine. It worked really well most of the time, so I tried changing some of my actions, and kept using it.
I tried slowing down at certain points in the task, and I tried turning the fabric differently at certain points, and I tried cutting the fabric differently at certain points, and I tried pinning the fabric differently at certain points. I did all these things and still I struggled to complete some of my sewing tasks.
Finally, I was forced to invest in a new machine, so I selected a “heavy duty” model.
Like magic, my sewing tasks began to flow like melted butter. Sure, I still slow down at certain points, and I continue to take the safety measures I did in the past … but the difference is now I no longer struggle to get the job done. I am no longer adjusting the tasks to the machine, the machine is adjusting to the tasks. I am no longer stressed. It takes less time to get even better results, and most importantly, I find my work, my passion, is more enjoyable.
So what’s the take away from my story and how does this relate to Database Fitness?
Using the right tools can often transform stressful situations into successful outcomes. Things change and we need to face those changes. Especially if you’re self-employed, using the right tools can lead to better outcomes.
Are you still using spreadsheet programs to maintain client information?
Are you using Gmail to follow up with clients?
Are you feeling overwhelmed with scheduling communications to keep in contact with clients?
If you believe you are doing your best to grow your business, and it seems like an uphill battle, then now may be the time to evaluate your tools and consider making a change. There are more efficient and productive ways to build relationships with prospective clients and maintain trust with existing clients.
Communication is crucial for client engagement with your business -- and engagement can lead to the greater revenue and business growth that you seek.
If you are struggling in what seems an up-hill battle to attract your ideal clients, let’s chat!
Database Fitness = Business Growth
It's a New Year and your business may be heading in a new direction. Is there a special topic you'd like to see covered in the DonPaul Marketing Newsletter? Please make a comment below and we'll feature your question in an upcoming blog!
Week 2 - Know Your Audience. Know Them Well.
You need to know who your audience members are, what they like, and what problems they face. This shouldn’t be guesswork — research your audience to create a detailed target customer persona.
Whenever I meet a new business owner I ask them to describe their ideal client. Whenever they start the description with “Anyone” or “Everyone” my heart sinks a little. There is no product in existence that’s suited for EVERYONE. There is no service in existence that will please ANYONE and EVERYONE. Even the very air we breathe, which is an essential element to EVERYONE, can cause problems for some.... depending on the geographical area.
Creating a clear profile description for your target audience is an important step in growing your business.
It takes time, patience and care and sometimes it takes revisiting.
It’s okay to get wrapped up in your own passion and it’s natural to be driven in your desire for success, however getting your message in front of the right people is imperative. Taking the time to research and reach out is well worth the effort, and learning to let go can be a benefit as well.
The right tools play an important role in developing your ideal audience.
Putting a robust CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system in place can be a powerful and yet affordable asset for a small business owner.
Your system can work for you 24/7 sifting and sorting, delivering and testing for the right people, and at the same time, your CRM system can politely keep informed those in the audience who may not quite fit your profile.
Best of all, your system will allow you to monitor your audience, identify those who are ideal and allow those who are not to quietly slip away with no bridges burnt in the process!
Whether you are just starting to build your audience or you have an established database that needs revitalization, we can show you some great steps to reach your goals.
If you are uncertain of the next steps to take, let's talk.
If your business took a downward hit in 2020, but you were able to keep your head above water, don't give up now. Straighten your shoulders, lift your chin and summon up the strength you need to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
If it seems that you've been doing all you can and it's still not enough, then, press on. It's time to double-down on your best strategies and push all thoughts of doubt from your mind.
It's been said that you should be so positive in your mind and actions, that negative people do not want to be around you. If you follow that path it can sometimes feel like a lonely one, but you are never alone. There will always be people who share your mind set. There will always be small business owners who are serious about business and striving towards success. There will always be problems to solve, communities to service and families to assist. Here are three steps into the new year that I encourage you to consider:
So happy to see you are still interested in Marketing Around COVID-19. Here's #8 -
It's Important to Fill-in-the-blanks
While we as business owners continue adjusting and pivoting through the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought into our lives, some of us have had the opportunity to meet potential new clients, which always brings anticipation and excitement. Listening to a potential business client as they share their vision with you can serve as inspiration for stoking your passion for your own business.
In getting to know new clients, we provide an analysis form or a survey where we pose key questions about the business.
When the client returns the form, we often have a great foundation to begin helping that business grow. Unfortunately, there are times when the analysis form is returned and vital information is missing, like:
While these may seem like routine questions, the responses do allow us to provide productive strategies, because:
1. We get: One-word answers, incomplete answers, or blank spaces
2. We get questioned: “Why do I need to provide this?”
3: We get sarcasm: “That’s what I’m hiring you to tell me!!”
4. Nothing. We never get the analysis form back…(even when we offer more time)
5. We get … you guessed it ... crickets.
Precipitously, our analysis form morphs into a deal breaker, when it’s supposed to be a dealmaker!
Why are there so many BLANK SPACES, why are so many of the answers filled with ambiguity?
This information is essential in creating a successful marketing plan, so what stops people from getting down to the nitty-gritty? Afterall, no professional marketing agency can provide meaningful advice without having this knowledge about the business. Anyone who says they can are not being honest in today's climate.
After we conducted further research, we discovered a few reasons why people don’t fill in the blanks:
1. FEAR stops people. The effort required to make decisions and provide answers will give some people a condition called “analysis paralysis” or decision paralysis. This occurs when people are having such a tough time choosing between actions, they do nothing at all.
2. TRUTH stops people. When they attempt to take a deeper look, they may realize they have developed a product or service for their own pain-points without the doing the research to determine the true needs in the marketplace.
3. DISBELIEF stops people. They do not believe they need to answer these questions. They believe research and planning is a waste of time and money. They are not serious about creating a successful, long-lasting business.
4. LACK OF KNOWLEDGE stops people. They simply do not know the answers. But they NEED to know the answers, because it will ultimately mean the success or failure of their business. Do the research, and obtain the knowledge to move your business forward.
In our work supporting small businesses, we help them get past these reasons for leaving blank spaces and we help them see a path toward realizing their goals and passions.
We want you to reach and exceed your expectations. We specialize in finding the right tools to help you gain awareness, interest, conversions, and make sales for your business.
Don’t let the pandemic rob you of your dreams to work your business. Together, we can outwit some of the obstacles brought about by COVID-19. Let us help you direct your business or non-profit toward growth.
With Paulette Smith