Is Your Business Stuck In A Rut?

Business-mindsetDo you often feel you are in a rut? You do the same thing over and over with less than desired results? The sales and promotions you ran in prior months no longer have the same effect. When your small business gets stuck in a rut, you need to find a quick way to snap out of it. This can mean finding a new source of inspiration, following some new trends or kick starting your marketing efforts.

What stops you from moving forward?

  • FEAR. Are we doing the right thing? Going down the right path? What will others think? INDECISION is the seedling of FEAR! Indecision crystalizes into DOUBT, the two blend and become FEAR! The “blending” process often is slow. This is one reason why these three enemies are so dangerous. They germinate and grow without their presence being observed.
  • PROCRASTINATION. It’s easy to always do the simple tasks of being busy. But what happens when you have a large project, or need to focus on something new? Do you spend your time being busy, or block off time at the front end of the day to tackle the project? Try breaking the project into smaller chunks so it seems more manageable and schedule time to accomplish those chunks
  • I CAN DO IT ALL. Often this is where I see business owners get stuck. They have the mindset that they can do everything themselves, yet by not releasing tasks to either outside consultants or employees the business owner is the bottleneck in their own growth.
  • DECISIONS. As you move about your day decisions pile up. Interruptions occur and your head becomes full of deadlines and stuff. Make the most important decisions early in the day while you are fresh. By giving yourself 24 hours, it allows you to “Sleep On It” with a fresh look first thing the next morning. You will find it easier to be clear on your decision.
  • TIME MANAGEMENT. How often do you c heck your email? Do you make a plan and/or a list for tasks to be completed with a due date? Do you assign tasks to others and hold them accountable? There are a variety of project management tools to do that. Asana is a tool that I use with members of my team.

The first quarter of 2018 is over. As you review your marketing plan going into spring/summer, what are you going to do differently that will yield results? If you don’t have a plan, now is the time to put one together. If you don’t have time to create and execute the plan, let the Edmiston Group help.

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long-term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business.

B2B Marketing Tips

B2B-MarketingOften when it comes to B2B marketing, some small companies have a hard time getting into the game. Let’s look at a paradigm shift. Many small business owners are used to marketing to potential clients, but not to other companies that could become a referral partner. As a business owner, you have colleagues that may call on the same market verticals as you. Perhaps you complement services and can create a bundle effect. You bring a particular skillset and your colleague brings a different skill. Individually your business is strong, but combined marketing of both businesses allows you to become a trusted resource by providing solutions to multiple issues. Here are essential B2B marketing tips to help with your B2B marketing effort.

Suppliers are a Great Resource

Do you treat your suppliers with respect? Not only is it the right thing to do, but these suppliers may also call on potential clients that could be a fit for your business. A good working relationship will allow you to get the best deals on your goods and when there is a problem, suppliers will be happy to work with you. It never hurts to ask who they might suggest you reach out to and if you may use their name as a warm introduction.

Become a Recognized Expert with Amazing Content

One of the first things I do before meeting with a potential client is look at their website and their social media channels. Have they updated them recently with relevant content that is easy to read and provides value? If blogs are months old and social media posts haven’t been made since 2016, these can be potential clients for the Edmiston Group. By regularly blogging on interesting topics and posting to the appropriate social media channels, you and your business remains top of mind.

Be Social

When working with a business owner, often I’m asked on which social media channels they should be active. Social media is here to stay and businesses that aren’t willing to adjust and participate will find themselves out of business in the not too distant future. Simply setting up a profile on LinkedIn is not enough. You need to be active in sharing articles, discussions and publishing relevant content. Advertising on social media and interacting with potential B2B clients is a great way to get your message across. These days everyone is on social media so it’s a great place to find leads.

B2B businesses tend to get the best results from LinkedIn and Twitter, but are present across a wide range of social networks. Personal branding, how the public perceives you, as far as your reputation, industry expertise and personality has become one of the most important marketing B2B strategies available today. Previously, executives focused more on branding their companies. However, buyers have begun to look more at the faces and voices behind the company logo.

In addition to content curation which is a great way to establish your personal brand, look for opportunities outside of your company, such as speaking engagements at industry events. Individualize your style and delivery according to your personality.

ASK FOR TESTIMONIALS

Third party validation by way of case studies and testimonials are a key way to break through the constant noise of advertisements, and reach B2B buyers. How often do you see in social media, “Do you know a good…?” People will buy from you based on a good experience of a satisfied customer. Use customer advocate and referral programs to reward those who sing your brand’s praises to others.

Grow B2B sales by: tapping your suppliers, seeking referral sources, becoming a content expert and sharing your knowledge socially. Let other’s sing your praises by asking for testimonials. To your success!

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long-term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business.

Tips To Find Your Best Customers

Use-Your-Email-Marketing-Results-to-Find-Your-Best-CustomersDo you have loyal fans? Perhaps a family member always shares or likes your social media posts. Maybe you have colleagues who refer you quite often. Third party validation is the best. But did you know that current customers and people that subscribe to your newsletter may be the path to finding your best customer?

Your email subscribers already have expressed interest in the products and services you offer, and many of them are likely opening, reading, and acting on your emails on a consistent basis. Are you really analyzing your email reports to identify the people who are most interested in your business and look for opportunities to strengthen these customer relationships?

 

Here are some tips to analyze your email list data and tap into your best customers:

Opens

  • Who opens your emails the most? These are the people who are most interested in what you have to say and have the potential to become loyal advocates for your business. Look at prior month’s topics to see if your open rate was higher or lower in previous months. Remember – each month will be different.

Click-throughs to product introductions or features

  • Next, review which customers are consistently clicking through to the content you put in your emails. This could be a blog post about a new product or service, a coupon or special offer.
  • There’s a good chance many of these people have already made a purchase or signed up for one of your services, consider reaching out to them with an online survey or a special offer to further that relationship and learn more about what they’re most interested in. If you include links to your website or social media accounts in your email campaigns, your reports will review who clicked on these links.

Coupon redemption

  • Coupons are a great way to look at a measurable action that people can redeem online. This is a great way to identify people who are not only clicking through to learn more, but are actually taking the next step to redeem an offer. Make sure to list an expiration date on your coupon so it doesn’t appear to be open ended. This helps to create a sense of urgency.

Social follows

  • If you’re using email to promote your social channels, look to see who is taking the next step to like your Facebook Page or follow your updates on sites like Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn. Are you taking the next step to also share your newsletter on your channels as an additional way to reach new followers?

Current customers and business colleagues can be your best brand advocates. By utilizing your email list and doing a little bit of simple analysis, you’ll be on your way to asking these involved, devoted customers to help increase the power of your marketing in no time!

Do you have questions on reporting, or are you interesting in learning how email marketing can be a cost effect way to reach potential customers? Give us a call at 724-612-0755.

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business.