Author: Christina Giordano

Marketing for 2020

Marketing for 2020: How will you Succeed this year?

How will your business thrive over the next decade? What marketing initiatives do you want to try? What do you want to achieve and learn? How do you want to evolve and grow? 

Now is the time to set your business up to really experience the success you have been working for. This means: getting clear about how you will position your offerings, thinking about your monthly content and email marketing initiatives, and putting relevant dates, deadlines, and tasks into your calendars. 

Here are a few key phrases to keep in mind as you review 2019 and prepare your marketing for 2020. 

The more lives you touch, the more money you make.

Your business success is directly proportionate to the value you provide the marketplace. What are the ways in which you can offer more “give” than “get” opportunities for your target market this year? How can you be of service? 

Start before you feel ready.

You may have new programs, journeys, or offerings that you’re trying to “perfect” before you launch them to your audience. But, don’t delay! What you have right now is enough to get going. Start gathering some testers that can help you tie up loose ends, generate case studies and testimonials, and recommend you to others. 

The key to success is consistency.

How would you behave if you were the best in the world at what you do? Now is the time to consider the good habits you want to integrate into your life and the not-so-good ones that you want to leave behind. Like it or not, being consistent is essential to creating any significant change in your life. 

Make 2020 the year of you. Need some help strategizing your marketing for 2020? Take advantage of my schedule-as-you-want consulting, and sign up for a 1-hour session, so that I can help you brainstorm, plan and prepare. 

Debunking the Myth of Overnight Success

Guest Blog: Debunking the Myth of Overnight Success

Something I tell my clients all the time is this: there is no such thing as an overnight success! This month’s guest blog is from credit.com and it is all about just that. Building a successful business takes time, so you’ve got to be patient. This guest blog will help you find the inspiration to do that.

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Both in the business world and in your personal life, anything that’s truly worth doing takes time, dedication, and hard work. It’s easy to glamorize success when people make it look easy — but it rarely is. If you believe in the concept of overnight success, you’re likely only seeing the tip of the iceberg.

Behind every great CEO, inventor, and entrepreneur is a mountain of struggle, failure, and doubt. They likely took a long and winding road to get where they are today, and that road is where they learned, grew, and improved. So instead of wanting to fasttrack your way to success, remember to slow down and embrace the learning curve.

Need some inspiration? Check out the infographic below on eight famous leaders and how long it took them to become successful.

The following graphic is from credit.com.

overnight-success

The One Test to Ensure Your Business Idea Makes Money

One Test to Ensure Your Business Idea Makes Money

Now that you have your business ideas from the last blog post, it’s time to find out which one makes money! This can be the scariest part for some of us, because it means we have to connect with others, and potentially risk failure, judgement and rejection. 

But just remember – you can do this! There are millions of entrepreneurs out there that have taken their one-of-a-kind, unique path to running a business. 

However, this stage can bring with it some bumps in the road! I want to mention those quickly so that you can avoid them.

Avoid These to Ensure Your Business Idea Makes Money

  1. DON’T spend all of your time and resources focusing on the things that do not matter right now. This includes a logo, tagline, fancy website, or whether your business should be an LLC or sole proprietorship. None of these details matter at this stage.
  2. DON’T get feedback on your idea from well-meaning family and friends who will probably tell you it’s a great idea anyway! General feedback from non-customers won’t put money in the bank.
  3. And most importantly, DO offer free or discounted products and services to actual customers so that you can get concrete feedback about what works and what doesn’t. This way you can improve and make what you sell amazing. 

Now, onto the test. This is called the Common Sense Test, and it consists of four simple questions. This test will help you evaluate your ideas and eliminate those that either won’t be as possible or simply don’t measure up. 

Here’s how it works. If you can’t answer yes to all four of the following questions, cross the idea off your list. 

The Common Sense Test

  1. Do I have the real-world experience, skills or abilities to provide this product or service, or am I willing to work really hard to get them?
  2. Am I will to focus a majority of my free time on this for at least the next six to twelve months?
  3. Is the idea aligned with my goals and values? 
  4. Is there a clearly defined, easy-to-reach market of people already spending money on this kind of product or service?

So which business idea of yours is viable and will be profitable? 

3 Approaches to Brainstorming a Business Idea

3 Approaches to Brainstorming a Business Idea

As a marketing consultant, brainstorming ideas is one of my favorite things to do. It’s an opportunity to be creative, shut down the inner critic, and just have fun. If you’re looking to come up with a business idea or expand your business in new ways, this blog will help you through three approaches to brainstorming business ideas

The first step is to open up a new document or your journal and write at the top: “Business Idea Brainstorm.” The outcome in this exercise is to come up with 10 business ideas and have fun doing it. You are more than welcome to come up with more than 10 ideas, but you must have at least 10. 

We’re coming up with 10 ideas is because it’s a big enough number to inspire you to mentally stretch yourself so that you can come up with new insights and new connections. Plus, once you start to organize and test your ideas for viability, you’ll be able to eliminate a few ideas quickly. This is a good thing as it will keep you focused. When you’re ready, dive into the three approaches below. 

3 Approaches to Brainstorming a Business Idea

Approach #1: Scratch Your Own Itch – Several entrepreneurs have found success solving problems they have themselves. They bring new services or products to the market that provide solutions to the problems they face. So, think about your own life. Is there are recurring problem or frustration that you wish there was a better solution for? 

Approach #2: Consider Your Strengths, Skills & Interests – I personally believe that we are all born with a unique set of strengths, talents and skills. There are problems in this world that you are uniquely qualified to help solve. So, get curious about who you are and what you do naturally. How can you use your strengths, skills and interests to solve problems for others?

Approach #3: Shop Around for Inspiration – Go idea shopping by checking out other businesses in industries that you are interested in. Chances are other companies exist in a market that you’re interested in that can help inspire your own business ideas. What can you do better or differently in a totally unique way?

Once you have your ideas, review them and think about which ones are viable. Consider the revenue model – can you make money with this idea? What about the competition – is there any and how can you stand out? Think about the market – who are they and how can you position your product or service in a way that makes their lives easier, more convenient and more joyful? 

As you define your idea and develop a strategic plan to execute it, you’ll be well on your way to running a profitable business! And if you need help, you know who to call. 🙂

4 Essential (and Simple) Rules for Copywriting-2

4 Essential (and Simple) Rules for Persuasive Copywriting

Need your copywriting to stand out a bit more? Here are 4 writing tricks that will instantly make you more persuasive.

These copywriting tricks are simple but massively important!

  1. Do talk with one person at a time. 

Have you ever started emails or videos with “Hi everyone” or talk about “all of you out there” all the time? Well, chances are, people aren’t reading your emails or watching your videos in groups. They’re going to read and tune in to your content individually and will likely want to feel as though you are connecting with just them.

  1. Do use contractions.

Contractions are okay! I’m vs. I am. We’re vs. We are. Gone are the days of formal-sounding communication. You want to sound human, more personal and more conversational. Contractions make your copy instantly sound more persuasive and easy to read. 

  1. Do use specific numbers to quantify your ideas. 

In your content, are you giving readers “time saving tips” or are you giving readers “three tips that’ll save you at least an extra hour per day?” Are you selling “healthy smoothie recipes” or are you selling “365 healthy smoothie recipes, a different one for each day of the year?” Can you tell the difference? Which ones sound more persuasive? 

  1. Do use concrete instead of abstract language. 

This is a big one! You must know the difference between concrete and abstract language. Example: Get toned triceps vs. transform your body. One is specific and concrete, and the other is general and abstract. The goal with this rule is to always use concrete, specific language that engages the reader and really helps them picture their situation.  

More copywriting tips are coming soon, especially in the next e-newsletter this month. Want more tips that you can use for your business? Join to get access to them!

25 Free List Building Techniques

25 Free List Building Techniques

All entrepreneurs need list building strategies. However, when first starting a business, you may not have the funds needed to invest in advertising or expensive marketing. This is why using free list building strategies is imperative to growing your business. 

But keep in mind – there’s a hustle at the beginning. It’s the tough work, the grunt work and the hard work that nobody wants to do. Here’s the thing though, nobody can do this step for you. You have to choose the strategies on your own and you have to be creative. If you’re committed to changing lives and having a long-term profitable business, you must build an audience. 

Building your list takes time, so you have to be patient. There is no such thing as an overnight success.

Below you will find 25 free techniques you can use to build your list.

  1. Include clear and specific calls to action in all of your content marketing. 
  2. Make it easy for people to share your content either through social media channels or forwarding options in emails.
  3. Use a pop ups on your site.  
  4. Optimize thank you pages with referral requests or social sharing prompts. 
  5. Highlight a piece of your blog content on a social media platform and start a conversation around it.
  6. When at events, bring an iPad and sign up people on the spot.
  7. Keep SEO in mind when you create content. 
  8. Consider a HelloBar on your site to tease a specific offer.
  9. Be helpful and kind on forums.
  10. Be generous and offer testimonials for other businesses.
  11. Keep an open mind for collaborations, partnerships or co-sponsored events with colleagues. 
  12. Thoughtfully comment on other people’s blogs. 
  13. Be a case study for vendors.
  14. Create something amazing for your market that everyone just has to share it.
  15. Lead a regular meet-up or event in your town that supports fellow businesses or the community.
  16. Be featured in blogs or in other media or work with influencers.
  17. Get interviewed about your message, your story, your mission, your business, etc.
  18. Do live speaking engagements.
  19. Be a guest in virtual events.
  20. Be a guest teacher in someone else’s program or event.
  21. Guest post on engaged blogs that serve your ideal customer.
  22. Write articles for other people’s newsletters.
  23. Submit your business to directories. 
  24. Create a referral program that incentivizes new clients.
  25. Teach workshops or seminars to generate interest in what you do.

There are, of course, more ways to build your list than what’s listed above. Regardless of whatever you choose to do, always do it from the heart. 

Want more tips like this? Check out the blog for more helpful business and marketing advice!

All about the CTA

The CTA: Don’t Miss Another Sale

Here we’re going to talk about a timeless marketing tactic that can really change how you convert leads to sales. It’s called the Call to Action, or CTA.

The Marketing Tool You Need

Every piece of marketing that you put out there needs to have at least one CTA. Most of us make the mistake of assuming that our customers know what we want them to do next. We forget to put a call to action in every piece of marketing that we create.

Including a CTA is referred to as direct response marketing. You want your prospective customers to see your message and take direct action, like a click or a call or a purchase, in response to your marketing message

Here are some sample CTAs:

  • Click to play the video
  • Reply to this email
  • Leave a comment
  • Click here
  • Buy now
  • Register now
  • Order now

These are the kind of action steps that we want people to take. If your goal is to make sales, you must tell your prospects exactly what to do to take action. However, you don’t want to give them a bunch of different CTAs in one piece of marketing. The general rule of thumb is to have one clear call to action and repeat it several times. Stay focused in each marketing piece in order to make it easy for people to listen to your message and take the desired action. 

So, let’s make sure you’re using clear CTAs with this CTA self-check exercise. 

Step 1: Review all of your marketing materials, from your website to your blog to your email marketing to your social media. Does every piece of marketing out there have one clear, direct CTA? 

Step 2: If not, make a plan to update your copy now, especially on your sales offerings. Moving forward, make sure you always include one CTA for all marketing and promotional assets you create. 

Step 3: When reviewing any marketing or sales material moving forward, ask yourself, “Is it crystal clear the one action I’m asking someone to take?” If not, rework that marketing piece so that there is one clear CTA.

Need help with your CTA placement? Reach out!

CGC - Business Models 101

Business Models 101

This month, I’m talking all about business models, particularly what they are and why you need them!

Basically, your business model (or revenue model) is a roadmap for how your business will make money. In other words, what are people buying from you? Your customers have to pay you for something. Without paying customers, you don’t have a business; you have a hobby.

This sounds incredibly basic! But all too often, I will hear: “I want to start a community to empower women,” or, “I want to curate creative material online.”  When I ask them how they plan to make money from these ideas, they’re not sure. Yes, you can absolutely create a blog or community or a movement, but it wouldn’t be a business until you have people paying for it. A business sells things (like a product or service) to customers in exchange for money.

If you want to build a profitable, sustainable business that you can rely on for income, you must be absolutely clear on what people are buying from you.

Here are some simple and straightforward explanations of what can be purchased from you.

Most businesses sell products or services, or a combination of both.

For example, if you sell jewelry or oils or clothing or wine, you’ve got a product-based business. You deliver a physical product and your customer pays you. Conversely, if you are a coach, yoga teacher, hair stylist, or photographer, you’ve got a service-based business. You deliver a service and your client pays you.

But let’s say you make money offering training or advice, you may have a mix of service and product offerings, such as one-on-one consulting (service) and digital programs (product).

Or perhaps you fall under other categories. Maybe you’re a blogger, and you make money through advertising for companies. Or maybe you’ve created a software, and companies pay you monthly for technology use and support.

So, how will your business make you money?