The other day, I was listening to one of Madonna’s great dance tunes, “Jump.” It’s a fun song that makes me want to jump up and dance around the room. It also motivates me into thoughts about the “jump” in my own life–to take the leap to the next level. This got me thinking about how Smart Women take the leap into realizing their Big Ideas, Dreams, and Goals.
I recently attended a conference for women business owners and ran into a woman I had not seen for some time. She looked a little unhappy when I approached her. I asked her if everything was going well and she shared with me that she had just lost a big client. In fact, this big client was more than 50% of her business. Wow! I’d be upset too. She was in the process of figuring out what to do next to rebuild her business back to a successful place. As we talked, I started thinking about the “golden” rule in business for Smart Women: Always have a marketing “mantra.”
Recently my son Jack, who’s in 3rd grade, had to do a book report and I spent some time guiding him through the process. His teacher had asked the report to consist of 6 elements: Title, Setting, Main Characters, Plot, Problem, and Solution. This got me thinking about how Smart Women could use this exercise to create a clear and focused plan for their business and entrepreneurial dreams.
Having a firm foundation is essential for any business to have sustainable growth and long-term success. What do you need in order to create a firm foundation for your Big Idea, Dream, or Goal? You need the same 6 elements that my son Jack used in his book report:
Last weekend, we took our kids trick or treating in our neighborhood and it was exciting. I enjoyed watching Jack and Jenna’s faces light up when they saw a friend from school or someone dressed as their favorite character. One observation from the evening that intrigued me was watching which houses the children gravitated to most often. The houses that were adorned with lights, decorations and an irresistible “come visit me” feeling were the ones the children ran to first. They would actually skip over homes that had little or no “invitation.” They would stand in long lines at homes that had that welcome feeling, waiting for one piece of candy rather than use that time to visit two or three homes that had less of a welcome presence. This got me thinking about how Smart Women entrepreneurs could learn a lot from Halloween when it comes to attracting their ideal client.
Having a business is one thing; creating a successful plan to attract your ideal client to your business is another. With all of the choices that people have today when searching for products and services, it’s essential that you create that “welcome” feeling or “I have exactly what you need” feeling so that when they arrive at your web site or meet you in person, there’s no question that you and your business are exactly what they need to solve their problem. Marketing is about solving problems for people. You need to quickly and effectively let your ideal client know that you have what they need and want. The people in our neighborhood that went the extra mile to create a true trick or treat “experience” were the ones whose homes were visited the most.
Are you going the extra mile for your ideal client? In my Women’s Success Circles, we spend a lot of time creating marketing plans that will generate more ideal clients for each woman’s business. What “experience” are you creating so they want to return to you again and again for your product or service?
Recently our family took a trip to the San Diego Wild Animal Park. It was a great trip that was both fun and educational for the entire family. Did you know that the Falcon and the Cheetah are the two fastest animals in the air and on the ground? I also found it interesting just how effective the Park was at marketing. Everywhere you went in the Park, whether it was to watch the “African Birds Take Flight” show, the “Journey into Africa tour” or the local café, they never missed an opportunity to educate you on the benefits of membership. This got me thinking about how Smart Women never miss an opportunity to get the word out about their Big Idea or entrepreneurial dreams.
Are you a woman with a Big Idea? Do you take every opportunity to market your business? Let me ask you a question: How are you getting your message out to your ideal client? Are you sitting in your office waiting for the phone to ring or watching your inbox to see if you receive any emails from people needing your product or service? In my work, I often notice there are one or two marketing tools that women use to build their business. Usually they have a business card ready to give away to anyone who would like one. And sometimes they will have a web site listed on the business card so that their ideal client can take a look online at their services. It’s possible that they may occasionally attend some networking events.
When I first started out in business over 20 years ago, I relied heavily on referrals and networking events to market my business. In today’s world, with so many messages being sent to us 24 hours day through the media (internet, television, radio), you need to explore and discover innovative and creative ways to communicate your message to your ideal client in a way that will attract them to you.
In my Women’s Success Circles, I share 10 Marketing Strategies to support women in taking their business to the next level. These are strategies that I’ve used over the years to begin, grow and double my profits time and time again. I’ll share several with you so that you can think about how to never miss an opportunity to get your message out:
1. Publish a newsletter. This is a very effective way to share your product or service with your ideal client. You are reading my e-newsletter (ezine) right now. I send this every week to 1,000’s of women across the country. It’s important that you offer some great content like an informative article, some valuable tips and of course, information about your product or service.
Last weekend was “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 8 year old son Jack and his teammates (The Pinto Dodgers!), I started thinking about how Smart Women, Baseball and Marketing your business have a lot in common.
In my work with Women Entrepreneurs, I find that marketing can be a bit of a mystery. It seems like a beast that cannot be tamed and yet, those who figure it out, become successful with companies doubling in growth and profits nearly overnight. So how are baseball and marketing alike?
Marketing really is just like the game of baseball. And once you figure out the rules of the game, you will move around the “diamond” very quickly, scoring successful runs. First, you have to decide what you are marketing (product or service) and second, who your ideal client is. In other words, who benefits from using your product or service. When you have determined who your ideal client is, you can then create a “message” that will appeal to those people. Makes sense, right? Many times, when we start a business what’s the first thing we do? We create a logo, business cards, and possibly a web site. We do need all of these things to run a business, however, if we don’t accurately communicate the right “message”, then we have wasted valuable time and dollars with no success. Our ideal client must be able to understand how we can help to solve their problems with our product or service. It’s essential that you develop your “message” first. Let them know how your product or service can solve the problem they are having.
This morning, my 6-year-old daughter Jenna decided to work a new puzzle that she received for her birthday. The puzzle, when put together, would represent our solar system. She dumped the pieces out all over the floor and began to realize how “big” this process was for her.
I could feel and see that she was becoming overwhelmed. I sat down with her and asked if it might be a good idea to place the cover of the box in a place where she could refer to the “big picture”—what the puzzle would look like when she’s all done. She agreed and set to work turning over each piece, getting organized, and putting the pieces that looked similar together.
This got me thinking about how Smart Women create a blueprint of what their lives and work should look like, get organized, and then put the pieces where they need to go.
In our personal and professional lives, when a change or transition is looming we can become anxious about what this might mean for us moving forward. Sometimes we want to “dump” our options out all over the floor and quickly choose something so that we can get on with our lives. Change can be a challenge, especially if we have not given ourselves the quiet space and time to reflect on all of the different puzzle pieces in our lives and our businesses. The key is to focus on where we want to go in our lives and create a framework or blueprint to reflect this. It’s important to see the “big picture” and then look at what puzzle pieces would make it come together in the most effective way.
In our personal lives, we need to ask ourselves what’s most meaningful to us right now: self-care, relationships, family, friends, career, community involvement. These are just a few pieces of the puzzle called a woman’s life. We have to reflect and explore which pieces of the puzzle would bring the blueprint of our lives together in the most meaningful way. What makes the most sense right now? What feels “right?” Which pieces seem to fit together?
This past weekend, our family went out to Palm Desert to visit my in-laws for Mothers Day. I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with Greg’s father, Lowell. I enjoy my “chats” with him. He loves business and marketing and always has great ideas. One of the topics we landed on was how some people move forward with their big ideas, dreams, and goals, and others never seem to be able to get out of the starting gate. Why is this? What makes it happen for some but not for others? Women will say to me, “I have an idea, but every time I get to a certain point, I can’t seem to “pull the trigger!”
I have been fortunate to have a lot of coaches and mentors in my life. It’s been a key to my moving ahead with my big ideas, dreams, and goals. You know the old phrase, “Ready, Aim, Fire?” Years ago, one of my mentors shared with me, that in order to make something happen, it should really be, “Ready, Fire, Aim!” Sometimes we want to make sure that everything is “perfect” before we “fire” our new idea into the world. We want to take that last class or read that last book written by the expert.