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If increasing your number of clients or customers is a pivotal goal for you this year, (I hope so!) I have good news for you. It’s within your reach if you follow the three R’s for rapid client attraction.
1. Relationships – Relationships are the new black in business now. “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” (Eleanor Roosevelt). There’s a real need, a craving, for deeper relationships in business today. People are desirous of more trust. Whether you’re networking, blogging or updating your Facebook status, seek first to create or deepen your relationships. People want to work with or refer to those where a deeper bond or connection is present. Take some time to consider where you have the “golden ticket” when it comes to creating relationships and make that a daily part of your marketing.
At a recent retreat with the members of my Smart Women SOAR Elite program, they had a chance to “rate” different aspects of their business on a scale of 1-10 with one being “Nope, never heard of it” and a ten being “Nailed it.” Together, we focused on the areas that are essential to wildly thriving business success. As one member commented, “It’s like keeping a scorecard on your business.” The key to long lasting business growth is to evaluate periodically what’s working, what’s not working and course correct so that you can continue to gain momentum and accomplish those bigger goals.
Here are five areas to assess in your business now so that 2015 can be the year you soar to a new level of success:
- Your Vision and Mission – Is your vision and mission on track for the New Year? You can get off track in your business if you’re vision isn’t laser focused. I refer to this sometimes as “BSOS” or “bright shiny object syndrome.” When new opportunities present themselves, the key is to ask yourself if the new opportunity or new idea relates back to your WHY. Will this opportunity get you closer to your goal? Avoid spinning your wheels on things that don’t get results and opt for a solid plan of action.
A few days ago, I contacted a friend to ask for a referral recommendation for a big project I’m working on. My referral source responded quickly providing me with the information I needed. I was so excited to speak with this potential resource. I immediately and eagerly reached out by email. No reply. Within 48 hours, I made a second attempt via email and phone. No reply.
Can you imagine how I felt?
I have great respect for the person who made the referral. In fact, it was most likely a “done deal” because of the person who made the referral, however the lack of response left me feeling unsure. I began to question the professionalism and expertise of the person I was trying to reach.
Why do I share this with you?
One of the questions I’m frequently asked by women entrepreneurs is, “When I meet someone who is a potential referral source and/or ideal client, how do I mention my business without feeling pushy?” Great question! Being able to communicate your marketing message with confidence is key to attracting more clients, increasing your income and becoming known for your expertise.
The idea of “self-promotion” or “selling” leaves some women feeling like they are bragging, being pushy or not considerate of others. It can create anxiety and fear which in turn keeps you stuck and unable to reach your business goals. Women are nurturers by nature and the thought of putting their needs in front of someone else’s may feel unnatural.
When you begin your journey as a woman entrepreneur, your most important action step is to get clients and create a “buzz” about your product or service so you can keep the business alive and get on a path to profitability. With effective marketing, your business will grow and over time, word will spread about the results people are getting when they work with you. If becoming a leader in your industry is a goal for you, now will be the time to consider an updated look in your business – a new brand image – both personally and professionally.
Over the last few months, I’ve completely revamped my online presence and I’m in the process of updating my personal brand as well. When you have a big vision for your business, it’s essential that you stay “current” in every area. If you’re in a product business, you’ll need to keep a fresh, new look for your product packaging. If you’re in a service based business, you’ll want a “new and improved” version of who you are becoming as a leader in your industry.
In my work with women, a frequent question is, “How important is it for me to finely niche my marketing message?” My answer is always, “Extremely important.” The reason is 3-fold:
- You save more time because you know exactly who you’re looking for.
- You save more money because you spend your marketing budget wisely.
- When you provide a great service, you’ll get highly qualified referrals from your satisfied clients to people they know who have the same problem.
Here’s a quick case study to illustrate how effective this is:
Are you a small business owner, coach, consultant, speaker, stay-at-home mom, teacher or professional who’s thinking of starting her own business with thoughts like…
Recently we had “opening day” for Little League Baseball in our community. There was a Pancake Breakfast to kick-off the season, children singing the National Anthem and of course, a local celebrity to throw out the game ball. We really enjoyed our morning and felt grateful to share in the experience. As I sat in the stands watching my 10 year old son and my 8 year old daughter play their first game of the season, I was reminded how baseball and marketing your business have a lot in common.