Look, there are aspects of marketing that drive us all nuts, and when it comes to putting your business out there, most of you will be hiring someone else to design your website, unless you are gifted with great HTML skills! (Truth be told, I used to design my own sites in Dreamweaver, back before I could ever realize that the 60 hours it took me to design would, ah, make it impossible for me to have time to work with clients, doh!) However, many business owners go on a mad dash to hire someone to design their site, spend weeks or months of back and forth emails and conversations, and way too much money, only to end up with a site they hate, or are not happy with. Why? Because somehow, many business owners jump from “I got a business idea!” to “I need a website!” to “I’ll hire someone right away!” and leave out the crucial middle step….
In order to end up with a website you love, you need to know what you want it to do. Also, equally important, you need to know how your uniqueness and personality will spill onto the pages of your site! Too many times, people hire a website designer, and are perplexed at how the website designer “doesn’t get it”. That’s because, actually, YOU don’t know what you want, so how can you expect someone else to magically pull it out of you? If you want to maximize your time, and your budget, you need to spend some time figuring out the point of your website so that you can effectively communicate that to your web designer. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Give directions. When someone visits your site, what are the top 3 things you want them to do? Consider your own website browsing habits – you probably don’t spend more than 10 – 20 seconds on a homepage before clicking someplace, or leaving if you can’t find what you need. Yep, we do not like to read – we got enough clutter in our email inbox – so make it easy for the visitor to interact with the top 3 areas you want to guide them to.
- Make an easy button. Staples got that right! Think about the main information your visitor might want and make that easy to find. I HATE when I cannot figure out how to contact a person, and when the word “Contact Us” is in print so small I need to get a magnifying glass to find it, I get the impression you really don’t want me to reach out. Is that the message you want to send? A future client recently told me the reason he chose me out of all the other marketing folks he could have hired is because I made it easy to schedule an appointment. Yes, it can be that simple.
- Know yourself. The websites that intrigue us are the ones that have some uniqueness and that is usually about the personality of the business owner. Spending some time understanding what makes you, YOU, and figuring out how to visually represent that on your website offers a greater chance of interesting your audience enough to stay and work with you.
If you are considering a website – whether it be your first one, or a redesign – now is the perfect time to get clarity on your greatest personality assets, and your goals. Check out the Personality Based Marketing system – the perfect way to prepare for an awesome website!
Want to discuss how Personality Based Marketing can make your website shine? Set up a complimentary discussion to see if it’s for you!
You ever have one of those days that gets you thinking about “the good old days” when you remember being:
- more fun
- better looking
- a better dresser (not that you store clothes, but that you wear them, lol)
- more spontaneous
- more outgoing
OK, you get the point – it’s a “days gone by” experience that gets you in a demoralizing playback of better times behind, and then into a rut you go in your life, in your business and beyond…
I have some good news! You have not lost this awesome person! OK, that was the good news. The bad news is, you buried this person under a landslide of bullshit, comprised of; putting other people’s judgments and opinions ahead of yours, trying to fit in, fear, and choosing comfort over risk, among other reasons.
This “old you” that you think you’ve lost touch with is actually the joyous reason I created The BullBuster Café®. And because I’ve recently taken some small business owners through some exercises that awakens them to this part, and it worked so well, I was inspired to write this post because I am really passionate about waking people up to the sleeping awesomeness that lies within them!
Many of us grow up believing, or concluding that we need to fit in – that means to make friends, get a job, do well in school, adapt to a new culture, etc – we need to behave like everyone else. In the process of doing so, we learn that if we are “ourselves” we end up possibly being teased, laughed at, and not accepted. Who wants that feeling? And so, we begin to bury anything that might make us stand out from the crowd, silly us! And then, we get older, and wonder where we went? Doh! It’s a crappy thing to do to ourselves, but when we choose acceptance over authenticity, what did we think would happen?
When I see a person reconnect with the energy and the emotion and the joy that is part of their authenticity, my hairs stand on end with excitement for them! It’s like magic. The other great thing is that this part can exist in your life, and your business, and your relationships, what fun! So, here are a few ideas for you if you are feeling disconnected from yourself, and trying to “get home”:
- Look for joy in the past. Your past is a great informer of your present potential. If you used to have it, you still do, it’s in there somewhere, we just need to find it! So, spend some time on the memories in which you remember being you, and what that meant for you.
- Forgive. In the process of remembering your old self, you may need to forgive others, and innately, yourself, for making you feel like you had to hide this wonderful piece of yourself – by forgiving pain, you open to joy!
- Plan and par-tay. Once you find your old self, and allow the joy to come into your life, figure out some ways to welcome yourself back! This might be about the clothes you wear, an accessory you put on, a color, a place you go, an attitude you step into…the important thing is to figure out some ways to integrate the old you into the current you, so they once again become a whole person! At that point, you can bring the old you into your life, and into your business.
Want to see how good your business authenticity is? Take the quiz!
Want to explore how to fully align with the richness of the authentic YOU? Check out the Personality Based Marketing system!
Fear is something we are conditioned to hide, and run from. Frankly, it gets confusing – when we’re younger, we’re taught to fear the things that cause us danger – moving cars, people with weapons, failure, poverty, disease, etc. Then, as we grow up, we’ve been trained to run from, well, most things, because they probably fit into one of our danger paradigms. So, though we get told somewhere in life to “face our fears”, this messaging conflicts directly with our sense of survival and makes no sense, but running sure does! And, running is often metaphorical.
When it comes to fear, many of us, though we may talk about “facing our fears” end up facing the underside of the blanket we’re hiding under. Fear, frankly, has become a convenience for you – it allows you to justify inertia, nothingness, laziness, sitting-in-front-of-the-tv-all-day-itis, and lack of accomplishment. The thing is, in most cases, fear is simply a thought process you’ve attached yourself to. Seriously, it’s just a THOUGHT. But, you know how it plays out, and the more power you give that thought, the more inertia sets in.
In business, there are many ways that your fears are playing out:
- not going after the “big wigs” because you’re afraid they will see you’re not experienced enough
- avoidance of creating a web presence because your work isn’t perfect yet, and imperfection might result in a lack of credibility
- lack of sales and marketing activities resulting in no clients, and no revenue
- shrinking your ultimate goals and visions because you feel like you’re not good enough or qualified enough for your business to accomplish them
So, how can you tackle your fears and get out of your own way? Here are a few ideas:
- If you’re feeling inferior to someone or something, you’ve probably put them on a pedestal. Envision the person or thing on that pedestal, and find a way to knock the legs out from under it!
- Perfection is a bigger monster than fear, and it’s also full of shit because perfection does not exist. Hold yourself accountable to action, not monsters that don’t exist.
- Remember that the only guarantee of your failure is to avoid action of any kind. Figure out what you’re avoiding, and challenge yourself to face it head on.
Have you taken the Business Integrity Quiz yet? Click here to take it now!
Well, this is more like a half-lie, as those of us who use social media know! We are really good at bashing social media because we tend to focus on the Farmville updates, annoyance at our friends’ updates of every moment of their lives to such a point we may de-friend them, being targeted by advertisers, and, well, we could go on and on, and let’s not even start with what it does to relationships!
OK, but if you have a business, and you hate social media for all the aforementioned reasons, AND the dislike and overwhelm at the idea of posting regular updates you don’t have time for, you are probably looking for some positive reasons to use social media, eh? OK, let’s take a deep breath – air goes in, and hold, and on the exhale, release the social media sound bytes, and exhale….
Here are some positive reasons to use social media that you can try focusing on the next time you get caught up in too much social megativity -
- Building relationships. Intuitively, you may, or may not, think of social media to build relationships. LinkedIn is the professional tool, and we know that Facebook allows us to be a bit more personal so that’s someplace maybe we can build relationships, but what about Twitter? Here’s a nice example of how relationship building can grow a business. A few years ago, I was at a conference, and came across a wonderful company called Soul Friends. (Shout Out!) They are a wonderful business that helps other businesses, and I post a feed to my blog on their site. They actually read through what people are submitting to them, and use Twitter to forward our posts to a larger audience. Now, as their member, I feel so touched, that I want to thank them, AND, here I am posting a shout out and a link back to their site, and recommending them to you. Twitter really can be useful, SURPRISE!
- Getting the word out about an event. If your business offers free webinars, workshops, teleclasses, etc., social media is such an easy way to spread the word through all your networks and invite people! It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s helpful.
- Creating a community/supporting a cause. How many times have we heard about the wonderful stories and causes that have been forwarded through social media? How about the one where Karrie Brown, a young girl with Down’s Syndrome got her dream of modeling for Wet Seal by setting up a Facebook page and getting 11,000 Page likes?
Want more social media and marketing ideas? Check out Simple Marketing Strategies for Service Based Businesses!
One of the most common areas of fear I see in business owners is that of selling. Many of us who hear the words “sales” or “selling” or “salesperson” are likely to cringe at visions of
- products we don’t want being forced upon us
- being manipulated into buying something that doesn’t do what it says, making us feel taken advantage of
- aggressive behavior that scares us and makes us feel inferior if we don’t buy
If you own a business, you are a salesperson. Or, more importantly, you NEED to be a salesperson if you want to actually get any clients/customers, most importantly if you are a solopreneur. It’s a hat that may feel uncomfortable, but it’s one you need to wear, part of the time! If you don’t ask for business, then you are simply letting it slip through your fingers. Now, if you are able to go weeks without food, and have someplace free to sleep, then hey, good for you, but I don’t know many people who do.
Interestingly, I find that most people are either disgusted with the idea of selling, or neutral. Very few of them are EXCITED! And, if you’re from another culture, moving to America, you may also find yourself in conflict around your identity as you try to be bold in your selling, but also not be arrogant – a very difficult set of values and judgments to deal with.
If you are struggling to sell, and also be authentic to your personal set of values, here are some ideas to help you:
- Remember the foundation. The thing is, at a base level, sales is simply the act of making potential buyers aware of your product or service. At this level, you can begin to view selling as informing, and the more people you inform, the more likely that some of them will check out your business.
- Be careful of over-judging. If you’re not selling because of fear of what others will think of you, try to let go of judgment. In the end, you are probably judging yourself more harshly than other people.
- Find your sweet spot. Tap into WHY you are selling your product or service. Rather than focusing on selling the product or service, focus on the story or message behind it – the why – so you can authentically talk about your passion, and that may take some pressure off you.
- People need you! Don’t forget that people need what you offer. So, if you’re hiding behind fear of selling, you are depriving the people looking for you of the beautiful life or business transformation you can offer them!
Want some mischievous ideas to promote your business? Check out “10 Mischievous Marketing (aka Sales!) Ideas”!
Creativity is such an interesting term, and I am often surprised by the number of people I meet that refer to themselves as NOT creative.
For some reason, many people get it in their minds that they are not creative because they can’t paint or draw. I make handbags and jewelry, and when I go to networking events, I meet all kinds of interesting people, and often hear from them, “I wish I were creative.” They look at a necklace I’ve made, and draw the conclusion that because they don’t know how to make one, they are not creative.
As a business owner, creativity is at the heart of what you do, so if you’re not referring to yourself as creative, then you’re missing out on your innate brilliance! Creativity is about way more than painting and drawing! (By the way, to set the record straight, I am not a talented drawer!) Art is one form of creativity, but so is graphic design, and most importantly, for all you business owners, so are your thoughts!
Remember, within the word creativity, is its root – CREATe – it’s about what you create! So, think about your very business – that is creativity at it’s essence. The products you have developed, the blog posts you have written, the programs you have created – those are all part of your unique creativity. You have a beautiful mind, full of amazing ideas, concepts, unique ways at looking at problems – so the next time your creativity feels challenged, remember everything you have created up till now, and claim your creations!
Want a slice of creative fun? Check out the Mischievous Marketing report, getting rave reviews, to get more bold and creative in your marketing strategies!