Marketing: Your first impression is your only impression. When it comes to learning how to grow a business, you must come to grips with the business coach fact that marketing is SUPER IMPORTANT. Poor marketing can deter would-be customers from buying your products and services because of the doubt it can inspire. Excellent marketing however, has the power to even deter racists from looking upon someone in a negative light. My friend, marketing is nothing more than getting your business, product or service in front of your target audience in a memorable and meaningful way. That’s all marketing is. What are your marketing materials saying about level of excellence? If you have excellent marketing materials, are they making it to your target audience? So who is your target audience? Who is not your target audience? As a business coach example in the wedding industry, our clients are potential brides-to-be and their mothers. Grooms-to-be almost never call us to inquire about our services. Frankly, most of the grooms are not even aware of nearly any details pertaining to their wedding. They know their wedding date, and they know they get to have sex at the end of this day. They are excited and confident of only these details. This simple business coach truth took me nearly 5 years to grasp because I did not know what the real definition of marketing was. Because I didn’t know who my target audience was, I spent money advertising on radio stations designed for men. As my wife and I worked 65 hours per week to make ends meet, I used my precious marketing dollars to buy booths in trade shows attended by men. I built a website designed for men. I named my wedding packages after things that dudes like. I basically spent my marketing dollars on attempting to reach people like me, because I thought that made sense.
Don’t be an idiot like I was; take the time to write down the answers to the questions below. Be honest with yourself. If your website is “janky” and does not inspire the level of confidence you want in your “target audience” you must “tame that beast” (fix that website). If you are rocking a mullet as you read this right now, you are going to have to “chop that mop” or your business is going to flop. I used to dress like a member of the “Wu-Tang Clan” (the rap group) when I met with brides and they would never book. I had to change my style in order to get paid. My friend, here is a business coach truth that nobody likes to hear: You might have to “sell out” if you want to ever SELL ANYTHING to your “target audience.” Answer these business coach questions candidly and honestly and your business will BOOM BABY!
1) What gender is your target audience?
2) How old is your target audience?
3) What zip codes does your target audience call home?
4) What neighborhoods do your target audience live in?
5) Where does your target audience shop?
6) How old is your target audience?
7) What search terms does your target audience use to “Google Search” for your products & services?
8) What problem(s) does your product/service solve for your target audience?
9) How educated is your target audience?
10) On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the highest, rank your website’s ability to inspire confidence in your target audience? Why?
11) On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the highest) rank your website’s search engine optimization level (does your site come up top in “Google Searches”)?
12) On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the highest) rank your logo and brand’s ability to inspire confidence in your target audience. Why?
13) Which of your competition is the most effective at reaching your target audience?
14) Who is the market leader in your industry?
15) What problems does your competition’s service/product solve for your target audience?
16) How can your company solve problems for your target audience more effectively than your competition?
17) Who in your industry has a better looking website than your company?
18) Who in your industry has a better looking logo than your company?
19) Who in your industry has better looking overall marketing material than you?
My friend, unless you are not being honest, or unless you are Howard Schultz (the CEO of Starbucks), it looks like you have some work to do. You must beat your competition starting now. Capitalism is a winner takes all sport. You are going to either dominate or you are going to be dominated. No pressure here, but if you do not get serious about beating your competition, you are going to raise skinny kids on a skinny budget. When it comes to business coach and marketing, you must take the advice of Oracle’s founder Larry Ellison, “You have to act, and act now.”
If you need help with your branding, your social media marketing, your website image, your internet optimization, your print materials and anything related to your overall marketing efforts, we can refer you to America’s top service providers. For more information, visit www.thrive15.com or give us a call today at 918-878-0216 and we will help you do this. For more ideas on how to market effectively to your target audience, there are really only three books whose content you need to read and apply, Guerilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson, Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill & Soft Selling In A Hard World by Jerry Vass.
Bonus Business Coach & Profound Truth: Search Engine Optimization: You must get to the top of Google search results or you won’t like your bottom line.
“Everything else becomes unnecessary in a business if nobody sells something.” – Clay Clark (U.S. Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year)
Bottom line: humans on the planet Earth use Google to solve their problems. If they are looking for a product or service, they simply “Google it.” Nearly every research study that is available shows that once people begin their search, they usually only click the first 1 to 5 websites that come up in their “organic search” (the non-paid ads). Thus, if your website is not coming up in the first 5 searches you are going to be losing “that business” to the competition. What makes it worse however, is the fact that nearly every human in America has a smart phone or is getting a smart phone soon. And now people are using their smart phones to “Google Search.” Thus, by the time this book is published there will only be about 6 old ladies and 2 old dudes (ladies outlive dudes) using phone books out there.
Sure, not everybody uses Google, but almost everybody does. In the United States, well over 85% of all internet searches occur via Google. If you are not a fan of Google, I frankly do not care. I’m not talking about preferences here, I am talking about making money and most people use Google, so focus on it. My friend, to pour even more gas on this fire, countless studies have also show that the overwhelming majority of people trust those ridiculous and anonymous reviews posted by people next to your business when it comes up in those “Google Searches”. Think about it. Some dude who goes by the internet name (handle) of SALTYDAWG7 can determine whether an actual potential customer pays you or not. Who takes the time to write these comments anyway? Generally the only people with enough time on their hands to write this crap are 27 year-old-man-bear-pigs who live in their mother’s basement and spend their afternoons and nights playing Nintendo Wii, World of Warcraft and Halo. Is this fair? Is this just? Is this the way it should be? No, No, and No. But, this is the way it is. Thus, you can only do 3 things about it.
1) You can hire someone to get you to the top of the search engine results. I’m not talking about paying for “AdWords”. I’m talking about actually getting you to the top of the “Organic Google Search”. You can also pay this person to take a proactive approach to your company’s online reviews and overall reputation management.
2) You can get yourself to the top of the “Google Search”. You personally can take a proactive approach to your company’s reputation management.
3) You can do nothing and lose over and over again. You can have skinny kids, using a skinny wallet and you can complain about how “business is slow” at Chamber of Commerce luncheons.
Folks, this is some serious stuff here. Either you are going to win or you are going to lose here. To quote the former CEO of General Electric, “Ordain your destiny or someone else will.” To me it doesn’t matter which option you choose, but I am now going to help you with all three options.
Option #1 – Paying someone to get you to the top of “Google Search” results. This only makes sense if you have more money than time. If you don’t, do not pay someone to do this for you. However, if you are going to pay someone, do not use the first company you come across. Do not hire a firm to buy “AdWords” on your behalf. “AdWords” DO NOT DETERMINE YOUR RANK IN GOOGLE. Do not hire some company from INDIA to do this for you. Call our office today and we will connect you to the Search Engine Optimization companies that we actually use.
Option #2 – Getting yourself to the top of “Google Search” results. This option only makes sense if you have more time than cash. If you are willing to put in the work, this can be one of the best uses of your time out there as a business owner. Once you climb to the top of the “Google Search Results,” money will flow into your business IF you have the right website design, call script, and overall inquiry conversion system. Your goal is become the Wikipedia of your local search results for the products and services you offer. Seriously, type the word “dog” into Google right now. Behold, Wikipedia comes up top or near the top does it not? Have you ever asked yourself why this is? Well my friend, you are going to start using Wikipedia as your new template for Search Engine Result goodness. To get to the top of Google results you must focus on these 9 core areas and only these 9 core areas.
Note: If you have no idea what I am talking about, email us at the office today ([email protected]) and we will email you the “website diagram” today. This document will teach you what everything on a website is and how it affects Google search results.
1) Title Tags – You must have localized title tags for your website such as (Tulsa Dog Grooming – Dog Grooming in Tulsa). If your Title Tags are not localized you cannot win.
2) Keywords – Your website must be filled with the keywords that your potential and current clients are searching for. If your website is about Dog Grooming, then you had better have a lot of keywords related to dog grooming in your website. Type the name of your city plus dog grooming into Google. See what comes up top. Right click on their website and scroll down to “view source.” See what your competition is doing. What key words are those guys using? What keywords is Wikipedia using? Get to work my friend!
3) Description – Your website must have the proper description to dominate local search. Right click on your competition’s website and scroll down to “view source.” See what description those guys are using. You must have a localized description to win.
4) HTML Formatted Websites – If you have a strictly Flash-based website, you will lose. Get an HTML formatted website or enjoy your time at the bottom of search engine results.
5) Inbound Links – Google likes it when reputable sites link to website. You must get other websites to link to you and there are only four ways to get sites to link to you.
1. You can do some grass-roots networking. Tell people, “Hey man, I will link to your website if you will link to mine.” This is a viable option, but it takes time.
2. You can write articles and submit them to various websites that will link back to your website in exchange for the content you provide them.
3. You can use third-party inbound linking sites like “LinkMarket.com.”
4. You can become the content leader in your industry to the point where people in your industry, media outlets, and others link to you simply because your content is so good (such as Forbes.com). I recommend that you would focus on options 1 & 2. I also recommend that you hire a college intern to do this work for you. I urge you to tightly manage the Search Engine Optimization of your website in a measurable way using the checklists we use. We can email those over to you today if you simply contact us today via www.thrive15.com. Request the “SEO Documents” and we will send them right over to you.
6) Outbound Links – Google likes it when your website shows that it links to reputable sites. If you are out there linking to a bunch of bogus sites that exist purely to help boost your search engine optimization this will mess up your search results.
7) Site Mapping – Your website must have a site map at the bottom of it. If your website does not have a site map, Google does not like it. You must make sure that your clients can get to any page of your website from any page on your website quickly. Ask yourself, “Self, what would Wikipedia do?” Look at Wikipedia see how they do it. Look at their links and the huge amount of text content they have. This is why they are #1 for internet searches.
8) Content – You must have more relevant and original content than your competition. He or she who has the most content will be king of search engine optimization. Make it part of your company’s core competency to write 30 minutes worth of original internet content everyday. Your competition won’t have the diligence to do this and overtime, you will beat them.
9) Inbound Video Link Backs – When you post a video to YouTube, you can post a link back to any website in the description. Google likes this. Whenever you post a video, make sure you include a link back to your website. A great site to help spread your videos more effectively is TubeMogul.com. Check this site out and begin using it now.
Getting to the top of Google is doable. I have done it with companies time and time again, but it is awful. It is not fun and it takes time and it takes maintenance. Once you build your “search engine optimization house,” you still have the mow the lawn every week. You or someone on your staff must focus on creating fresh content daily. Make sure your company writes fresh content on the days that you bathe and groom yourself.