Measurement: Consistency in the way you do things creates an easy way for things to be measured. After producing consistent work, your will see consistent return.

The Marketing Rule of 7

What is the Marketing Rule of 7?

The Marketing Rule of 7 dates back to the 1930s.  It was developed as a tool for advertisers to remember that consumers needed to see a company or brand’s message at least 7 times before they would even consider buying a product or service.  Today, some suggest that the number 7 is no longer valid in today’s marketing and advertising world. With the ever-growing popularity of social media and the opportunity for businesses to share content to laser-targeted audiences with the touch of a button at any given moment, the number 7 ends up looking more like a “20”… at the minimum.

Since we need to be speaking to our target audience on a more regular basis, there are some best practices we should follow to ensure we are hitting our “20” in the most productive ways.  Those best practices are:

  • Understanding Your Audience – Get laser focused on who is most likely interested in your products and/or services.  Talking to “everyone” and “anyone” will certainly guarantee your message getting lost in the noise of everyone else’s marketing.  Know your ideal customer by identifying what keeps them up at night and how you uniquely solve their problem for them.
  • Defining Marketing Message – Now that you know who your ideal customer/client is, determine what your message is and how you will communicate it to them.
  • Execute with Consistency – Since, more than ever, we are fighting for airspace on all media platforms, we must take action and be consistent with our brand message to our targeted audience.  Without consistency and execution, our messages are sure to be lost.

Marketing is not a “one and done” practice, execution, and consistency requires an unwavering commitment to the process.

Now that you know what you need to do to communicate to your audience, you need ideas and marketing vehicles to help you hit The Rule of 20.  

Don’t miss my FREE marketing resource guide: Local Lora’s List Of Logic (20 ways to get your marketing message out). Click here to download it today!

6 Reasons Why Your Business Needs A Blog

Everywhere we go, we hear that if we are in business, we need a blog.  The real question is, do you know why? In this week’s blog post, I will outline 6 reasons why you need a blog for your business, like…yesterday!

REASON #1

A blog is a GREAT way to connect with your customers.  Blogging about your product or service gives your customers an in-depth look at what you offer and it gives them the opportunity to ask questions about your offerings.

REASON #2

SEO.  Search Engine Optimization!  Search engines crave keyword-rich, value-driven, website content.  Blogging is all about delivering keyword-rich content teaming with value!  

REASON #3

A blog is a great starting place for social media content.  Social media is geared towards smaller more “snackable” pieces of information.  Imagine how many “tweetables,” Instagram, and Facebook posts you can come up with just from one single blog post.  Ninja tip:  When you repurpose blog posts for social media, don’t forget to direct your audience back to the blog for more detailed information.

REASON #4

Blogging is a FANTASTIC outlet for telling your brand story.  

REASON #5

You have the opportunity to monetize your blog if you chose, adding another stream of income to your business.

REASON #6

Blogging can help you stay focused on your content marketing strategy.

Ready to get started blogging?  

Here are a list of blogging best practices:

  • Your first step should be to make a list of topics to write about
  • Make blog entries value-rich
  • Identify keywords and use them naturally in your blog post – avoid mentioning a keyword just for the sake of using a keyword in your post
  • Be consistent.  If you elect to blog once a week.  Stick to the schedule. Don’t approach blogging haphazardly
  • Write in batches and schedule your posts to hit your blog – this practice saves time…trust me!
  • Have fun!  If you don’t enjoy writing, consider delegating the task to someone on your team or outsourcing the job to a copywriter

Happy blogging!

3 Ingredients You Need For A Kickass Brand Identity

True confession.  I jumped into my business without putting together a full, blown out, brand strategy.  There. I said it. How many of you have done the same? Or, how many of you are trying to figure out what your brand is or…maybe you are still wondering what the heck a brand really is?!?  Today you are in LUCK! I am going to give you the 3 main ingredients you need for a KICKASS brand identity.

 

INGREDIENT #1:  Your Overall Brand

Even if you have never deliberately sat down and developed a brand outline, your business has a brand.  How is that possible? It’s possible because, from the moment you started your business, you either consciously or subconsciously set a standard of expectations for your company.  Each time you provide a product or service to your customers, they have told themselves a story about what they can expect from you each time they deal with you, your employees, your service, and your products based on how your business is presented to them.  Your brand is both a glimpse into your business as well as a lasting memory and it is the message your company sends out into the public.

 

It’s important to get this ingredient down perfectly…use the branding action step below to help you.

 

Branding Action Step:

Take a few minutes to write down:

  • What you want your business to be known for (this can be things like:  quality, value, pricing, speed of service, friendly, etc.)
  • What types of memories you want people to have after dealing with your business
  • What makes your business different from competitors in your field
  • The core values you find

Be as detailed as possible when defining your brand.  Remember, your brand is the idea, thought, emotion, concept, that comes to mind when someone thinks about your business.  

Once you have a clear idea of how you want your business to be perceived, you have a good foundation for a powerful brand.  Share your brand definition with everyone who works in your business so they are clear on your company’s brand messaging.

 

INGREDIENT #2:  Identity

Once you are clear on what makes up your brand, you need for your brand to be instantly recognizable.  You worked hard on developing what you want to be known for, now it is time to claim your identity in the marketplace.  Become instantly recognizable by putting these things in place:

  • Have a logo professionally designed for your company
  • Choose colors to represent your brand.  Hint: research things like “the psychology of colors” to determine if the colors you have selected are in tune with your brand
  • Develop brand rules by creating a style guide, spelling out the exact colors, fonts and sizes to be used in documents, online, in social media, etc.

 

INGREDIENT #3:  A Brand Story

A strong brand tells a story well.  Below are some of the things your brand story should include:

  • What your business does…and why (your company’s mission)
  • A connection to your customers (a problem you empathize with and you can solve)
  • What makes you different from the competition (your unique solution)

 

Once you have these three ingredients in place and you and your employees are using them consistently, you are off to a great start when it comes to defining a recognizable brand.

Are You Prepared To Speak? 4 Tips to Make Your Next Presentation A Success!

As a business owner, entrepreneur, or someone who generates business, you must be prepared to speak.  Whether you are called on to tell people what you do for a living, who your ideal or perfect client is, or you get the opportunity to talk about your business to a room full of people, you must be prepared.  In this blog post, I will share with you my 4 tips to make your next presentation a success.

Let’s dive right into the tips!

TIP 1:  DON’T “Present”

You heard me.  Take “presenting” out of your presentation.  Instead, tell a story. Why? Stories bring impact because they:

  • Organically cause audiences to use their imagination, placing themselves into the story line – this holds their attention longer
  • Make the content more relatable
  • Keep people engaged, especially if you can lead them through a series of emotions during your “non-presentation” (make them laugh, feel sad, happy, determined, motivated, etc.)

 

TIP 2:  KISS

Keep It Simple, Sweetheart!  Especially when you are trying to teach something or show how a product or service can help impact someone’s life.  Use everyday language, avoid acronyms, and don’t shroud your content in a cloud of mystery and complicated scenarios.  People are listening to you because you are the expert, not because you are trying to prove your expertise.

 

TIP 3:  DON’T USE SLIDES AS A CRUTCH

We can all read.  There is nothing worse than going to a presentation and have the presenter read from slides.  Instead, use slides for visual impact and creating interest. Otherwise, you risk:

  • Sending signals that you/the presenter doesn’t know the material
  • Putting the audience to sleep
  • Being be more engaged with the slides rather than the audience

 

TIP 4:  CHOOSE GRAPHICS WISELY

When designing graphics for your presentation, design them with the audience member seated at the back of the room in mind.  As an attendee, there is nothing more frustrating than seeing a slide with:

  • Tiny print
  • Spreadsheets that no one can read
  • Graphs with weak visual impact

Instead, aim for:

  • High quality, clean, sharp images
  • Graphs that do not include too much information so that the point gets across
  • Few words

Remember the old cliche “A picture is worth 1,000 words.”  Apply that mantra to your next presentation if you decide to use slides.  Slides should supplement the presentation to drive a point home, they should not be the presentation.

What changes will you make to your next presentation to make it a success?  I would love to hear your ideas!

 

This 1 Thing May Make ALL The Difference In Your Marketing Efforts

Lately, there has been A LOT of buzz about email marketing campaigns and email lists. The 3 reasons listed below are just a start to the many benefits of having your very own email list.

If you don’t have an email list and an email marketing campaign in place, you are missing out on opportunities. Find out why…

3 Reasons Why You Need An Email List

REASON #1:
Conversion Rates. Since you already have a relationship with the people on your list, they already know, like, and trust you. With those 3 things working in your favor, product and service conversion rates are much higher than any other form of digital marketing.

REASON #2:
YOU are in the driver’s seat. With an email list and an email marketing campaign in place, you have control over what your audience sees and when they see your content. You are not dependent on algorithms or paid advertising with an email campaign in place.

REASON #3:
This one is HUGE. You own your list of contacts! There are so many uncontrollable variables when it comes to making and maintaining connections on social media and sending traffic to your website. For example, you can be crushing it one day and then tanking the next because of an algorithm change you have NO control over. Your email list is the one thing you have control over that allows you to stay in contact with the members of your list and nurture the relationship you have created.

Don’t miss out on any more opportunities. Start building your email list and stay in touch with your tribe!

~ Local Lora

Is You Business Card Serving Its Purpose? 7 Things Not To Overlook When Designing Your Next Business Card

When branding your business, there is one key element you should not overlook. Your business card. Your business card sets the tone and the expectation of what people will experience when they do business with you. It is the face of your business that you leave behind after meeting someone.  Do you think your business card is serving its purpose?  Find out when you look at the following 7 things not to overlook when designing your next business card below!

Cardstock

The first thing someone will notice about your business card is how it feels in their hand when you hand it to them. Is it firm, substantial, and rich feeling or is it flimsy, thin, and cheap? The texture of your business card sends a message about your business and brand.

Font

The font you choose for your business card is critical. Simplicity and consistency is key when it comes to branding. Choose fonts, sizes, and color palettes that are clear, easy to read, and are in the same font family as your logo. Avoid small font sizes as well as script and cursive fonts. While script and cursive fonts are pretty and some believe they send a message of elegance and class, they can also create confusion if they are difficult to read. There are other ways to send a message of elegance and class through things like your logo, color palettes, and cardstock texture.

Contact Essentials

Make sure people know who you are and how they can get in touch with you. Always include:

  • Your name
  • Your title
  • Phone number

Digital Connections

We are a digital world! There are LOTS of ways we connect with people through the internet. While it is not necessary to list every avenue someone can use to get in touch with your, it is a good idea to list some critical basics like:

  • Email address
  • Website
  • Up to 3 social media platforms, more than that may cause overwhelm

Color Palette

Determine a business card color palette for fonts and design elements that are consistent with your brand colors. Remember, you want your business and brand to remain recognizable regardless of where your business is seen.

Company Name, Logo, and Tagline

Have the person who is designing your business card make space to prominently display your company’s name, logo, and tagline. Remember, maintain color palettes and font selections so that your brand is easily recognizable.

Call to Action

Now that your business cards are in the hands of the people you are meeting, give them a call to action. Some call to action ideas may be to invite them to:

  • Call you for a free 30-minute consultation
  • Download a free product, eBook, report, white paper, printable, etc.
  • Sign up for your newsletter to get valuable coupons
  • Join a value-driven Facebook group that you moderate
  • Connect somewhere on social media
  • Something that helps you further the connection you have just made through your business card

Bonus Tip!

Request a mock-up or a printed proof of your business card. Seeing a printed version will call out some elements that may need some attention or revision. A printed version always looks different than what you may see in a digital version.

Now that you have seen these tips when you look at your current business card, what is it saying about you and your business?

Lucky In Business? Nope! It’s A Business Plan!

Sometimes, doesn’t it seem that some people just seem to be extremely lucky with their business? They tend to be on the fast track to closed business deals, higher numbers, more clients, etc. It almost appears effortless.

I know their secret!

Their secret is not edgy, sexy, or mystifying. It’s the result of the stuff you don’t see…behind the scene. As a matter of fact, their “lucky” business is the result of something called a plan. And, the plan is probably the result of several years of plans getting them to where they are today. You just tend to see the result as of right now. To you, this success seems like an overnight phenomenon but it goes much deep than that.

“People are rewarded in public for what they practice in private.” ~ Tony Robbins

Now that we know the “secret” behind business success, what goes into a business plan? Honestly, it can be as complicated and detailed as you want it to be or you can make it simple. Simple to understand and simple to execute. I tend to go for simple and something that can be adjustable.

Some of the things I believe that are non-negotiable for business plans are:

  • What problem does your business solve and how do you solve it?
  • Who is your competition?
  • What makes you different?
  • Goals – where do you want to be in 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, 5 years, 10 years?
  • How will you get there? What does the roadmap look like to get you to your goals? Who makes up the team to get you there?
  • How will you market your business, product, or service?
  • What does your social footprint look like? How will you expand it?

How do you put it all together? Remember how I said I like simple? I have prepared for you a simple, one-page, at-a-glance business plan you can keep with you to monitor how you are progressing towards your goals. Download the plan by clicking HERE.

Make it your mission to be a goal digger and have fun crushing goals!

© Lora Shipman, Keep It Local, LLC, March 11, 2018, All rights reserved

LOVE Your 30-Second Commercial!

Happy Valentine’s Week!  This week seemed to be the PERFECT time to talk about falling in love with your 30-second commercial.  Sometimes it is easy for me to quickly fall out of love with mine!  Have you been there?  Do you feel like you say the same thing over and over, week after week?  I know I do! 

There is hope for your 30-second commercial!

Here are some things that I noticed really worked for me and made a difference in my 30-second commercial. 

FOCUS:  Focusing on just one product, service, or audience.  I love doing this.  It really helps to ensure my multi-faceted business is well represented throughout the month, quarter and year.  If you try to tell everything you do in just one 30-second commercial, your audience begins to fall into a state of “overwhelm!”  Help your audience stay focused on you by being laser focused yourself. !

WII-FM: Tune into your audience’s favorite radio station WII-FM, or “What’s In It For Me?”  Many times we are too focused on telling people what we want to sell and who your ideal customer is, that we forget about asking ourselves, “Why should my audience care?” Craft your 30-second commercial around your audience.  When crafting your 30-second commercial, think in terms of:  What solution can you provide, what’s so special about what you do, and what problem do you solve? 

CREDIBILITY:  Highlight your happy customers and clients, making it easy for your audience to understand the value of you and your brand.  Mention your; retention rate, large client names, or even share a testimonial.

CTA: Use a call to action in your 30-second commercial letting them know what they should do next.  Be specific.  Maybe you want them to call you for a free consultation, pick up a tip sheet from you, etc.  Avoid saying a lot of “stuff” without a reason.  Be deliberate about what you are saying and why.  Always ask yourself “What do I want the final outcome to be?”

MORE:  Leave your audience wanting more.  End your 30-second commercial with a cliff-hanger question, statement, or statistic that will compel them to talk to you more or engage in a call to action.

Did some of those ideas help?  Work on a 30-second commercial before you head into your networking meetings this week.  Avoid trying to craft a commercial on the spot.  A well thought out commercial will make a BIG difference in your networking efforts!  If you have ideas of your own, please share them!  Send them to Info@KeepItLocal-LLC.com

Have a profitable week!

~ Local Lora

3 Social Media Trends That Will Take Off During 2018:

As 2017 draws to a close, it’s time to think about what your social media marketing plan will look like during 2018.  In order to plan appropriately, it’s important to know what the expected trends will be.

3 social trends that will take off during 2018:

  • Ephemeral content – a.k.a. Disappearing content:  Think Snapchat and the “stories” feature on Instagram and Facebook.  This type of content creates a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out), driving viewers to consume content before it’s gone.
  • Personalized content:  Consumers will want to see more content that is relevant to their needs and want.  This will increase the usage of “Feature” accounts on social media.  Feature accounts are those accounts that only focus on 1 specific service, product, interest and not your entire offering.  Gone are the days where all of your content lives under one umbrella on social.
  • Video!  This one area of social media has been on fire!  2018 is the year to harness it for your business.  Video gets more engagement than any other type of content on social media and will continue to do so.  Episodic content or a series of videos will be important to viewers in 2018.

How will these trends impact your social media marketing plan for 2018?  Taking advantage of the trends above will make a difference to your social media marketing efforts.  First, you need to determine if you:

  • Have the right tools
  • Know how to use video effectively
  • Need further training or coaching

One of the biggest investments you can do for you and your business is investing in proper training and education.  Identify where you need that help now and search out those who can provide the training you need.

5 Tips for Creating an Effective Cause Marketing Campaign

It’s that time of year again!  In your mailbox, between your favorite shows, at check-out registers and even outside your grocery stores:  “asks” for money.  Good causes doing good things for our neighbors, our community, and our world.  In fact, there are some 1.5 MILLION not-for-profits ($25K or more in revenue) in the US.  So the question begs, if my personal donation can do so much good, I wonder what my business donation could do?

The answer is LOTS – for both your charity AND your business.  It’s called “Cause Marketing” – aligning a for-profit with a not-for-profit (NFP) for a win/win.  Engaging with an NFP is not only good for your heart but good for your top line, too.

A good Cause Marketing campaign can increase your sales by 19%*.  Some 85% of customers will change brands related to a Cause they care about, 66%* will spend MORE for a product and 63%* will TRY a new product.  Just as important, 66% of millennials decide where to work and shop based upon a company’s Cause.  Hint, hint:  these same millennials will also share your Cause (and promote your business) through their own social media channels and 82% will tell friends and family about the Causes and companies they support.

Doing well by doing good also means doing it right, too!   Here are a few best practices for creating an effective Cause Marketing Campaign:

1. Do it for the right reason!  People are smart enough to see if your charity campaign has no passion behind it.  It’s not about you looking good – it’s about the Cause doing great.

2.  To go big, stay home! There are a great many national charities doing great things; however, a donation to a smaller, local charity could be literally a life-saver in serving your local neighbors.

3.  Choose a cause which aligns with your company.  Restaurant? Consider a food pantry.  A store or salon catering to women?  Think domestic violence, female veterans or local cancer support groups.  Ask your team, your customers, and ask yourself – where does their (and your) passion lie?  Most customers actually want to participate in your cause with a separate donation – they want to be part of a solution.

4. Choose wisely.  Reach out to the local charity.  Meet with them to brainstorm ideas for either financial or time donations (many need volunteers throughout their year for their own fundraisers).  See if their board members would be good partners for your business and your campaign.  Your “real estate” (meaning your social media platforms, office, retail shop, salon, employees, and customers) can expand their own brand in the community – giving them even greater access to donors and volunteers.

5.  Donate wisely.  Work within your own business model.  A % of the sales price or a specific amount for each sale? An hour of service for each sale?

Make it easy to sell BOTH your Cause and your Donation.

Cause Marketing can be a game changer for your business:  differentiating you from an increasingly competitive marketplace, building stronger relationships with your customers, helping to recruit new employees and engaging current team members.

As you build your 2018 Sales and Marketing Plan, consider adding a “Cause Component” to your business!

Editor’s note:  Your Keep It Local organization is looking to align with a Cause in 2018.  If you have any recommendations, please send them to Sheila@CatalystGetsResults.com

* All statistics come from various studies conducted by Cone Communications.

Thank you, Sheila Neisler for providing this week’s insightful article!  Sheila is currently working with Keep It Local in the capacity of Cheif Marketing Officer.

To learn more about Sheila Neisler and Catalyst – A Marketing Company, click HERE.