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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  Today, some suggest that the number 7 is no longer valid in today’s marketing and advertising world.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!

Are You Stopping Short?

Keep It Local Member Debby KevinGuest Blog Submission From:
Deborah Kevin
Writer, Editor, Storyteller
www.DeborahKevin.com

The 90s television show Seinfeld is known for how it changed conversations, and one can immediately connect with someone of like mindset by using phrases such as “sponge-worthy,” “master of your domain,” “no soup for you,” “shrinkage,” and “a dingo ate my baby.” Not only was the show hilarious, but it was also sticky.

There’s an iconic scene in a Seinfeld episode (“The Fusilli Jerry,” Episode 107) where Kramer stops short while driving George’s mother from a doctor’s appointment. George’s father freaks out and accuses Kramer of “stealing his move.”

In the context of Seinfeld, stopping short is when the driver is on a date and hits the brakes in a faux emergency and puts his arm out as if to stop his passenger from hitting the windshield when what he really wants to do is feel her chest. (Yes, it’s creepy and not in alignment with today’s feminist standards, but putting a protective arm out often happens when there are children sitting in the passenger seat, too—at least in my car.)

What does this have to do with your business?

You could be stopping short with your ideal clients.

Here’s what this looks like:

  • You develop a great program that will solve your ideal client’s biggest nightmare but don’t release it
  • You write all your marketing copy but never publish it
  • You start to second guess yourself (Hello! Fraud factor)
  • You gather momentum but abruptly shift gears to focus on something else
  • You do the do-si-do between options

Do any of these sound familiar?

I know I’m guilty of stopping short. A colleague of mine calls this the ‘busy bitch syndrome.’ Like when I develop great content or a kickass program but move onto something else instead of releasing it (anyone else?). Busy-busy-busy. I kept busy and thus hoarded my gifts.

Once I realized what I was doing, I had to make a choice: step up or step away. I opted for the former and put in place bumper guards to keep me in the game.

Here’s how to combat the stopping short phenomenon:

  • Commit to a launch date and ask someone to hold you accountable
  • Get clarity on your marketing goals, have someone edit your materials, and keep your promise to send the goods out
  • Create positive affirmations and read them out loud to yourself several times a day
  • Join a mastermind group of people who will cheer you on, talk you off the ledge, and support you unconditionally

I’d love to hear your insights regarding the stopping short phenomenon and how you’ve successfully combatted it in your business. If you’d like to chat about your marketing copy and how it make be supporting your “stopping short” activities, I’d love to chat. Click here to schedule time on my calendar.

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.

Yeah, NO – Networking is not really working for me . . . and yet . . .

I recently re-relocated to the Tampa Bay area (grew up in St. Pete), I jumped into (literally and figuratively) Bay area networking. You know… those events where people gather and make small talk in hopes that it leads to large sales. 

Occasionally, I come across someone I’ve known for a while who says “Yeah, NO – I’m not getting anything OUT OF networking” and a juxtaposed two-shot of Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality enters my head . . . and the question begs “what are you putting INTO Networking?”

As a business nerd, I’m comfortable dealing with facts and figures and there’s no mistaking the impact of building business through “Word of Mouth” marketing.  Networking can be an effective tool in hearing more words – and seeing more mouths:     

  • 84% of American consumers completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family, colleagues, and friends – it’s the highest ranked source for trustworthiness.
  • 74% identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision.
  • 91% of B2B buyers are influenced by word-of-mouth in making buying decisions.
  • Word-of-mouth improves traditional marketing effectiveness by up to 54%.
  • 64% of their survey respondents mostly or completely agree that word-of-mouth marketing is more effective than traditional marketing.
  • 50% indicated that they’ve incorporated word-of-mouth marketing into their traditional marketing campaigns.
  • But how do you get that Bullock “after” look? 

Here are a few tips:

Treat your business card as an asset versus a card-game

When you show up ready to pass out business cards like you’re a Las Vegas blackjack dealer, you’re creating an impression that anyone with a pulse is a prospect.  Having a thoughtful conversation AND making a connection warrants a business card. 

Using it as a “calling card” usually means there will be no callbacks. 

Use networking opportunities to practice speaking in “elevators”

Become so well-practiced (but not robotic) that you can focus your attention on the reaction and response people give you. (It’s not what you said – it’s what THEY heard).  In one group, several of us marvel that a woman speaking could talk a full two minutes in rapid staccato without taking a breath.  We were no longer listening but hearing her memorized monologue. 

Regular networking opportunities give you a chance to change up your initial impression by practicing in a “safer space” – if it is a regular group, you can ask for feedback on which approach resonates better with prospects.  What do they want to hear from you? 

“Read the room” before the room reads you

Sometimes the best connections (who have the best referrals) are the people standing on the sidelines.  The regulars know each other and have moved beyond business to chat about personal life.  It certainly makes it hard to talk about business when the first question is “How’s the family?”  Seek out people who are alone – welcome them – and ask them questions about their business:  who’s their target market, who’s a good referral, why do people buy from them.

Know your own target market – there’s a difference between a warm body and a warm lead

“If you stand in it – or on it, I can sell it.”  “It” was real estate, and that’s the intro I got from a real estate agent. (I heard that there were more real estate agents in Pinellas County than anywhere in the nation – so she’s got LOTS of competition)

Because she didn’t specialize – or by inference – excel – in any segment, I was left with the impression that her approach was like cooking pasta “throw it against the wall” and see what sticks.  On a side note, I asked her if she was in sales and she looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language.  She focused on what she does and not who she serves.   

Sharing who your target market is (and who it isn’t) allows people to better define (and remember) who you are and what you do.    I’m not in digital marketing – but have lots of referrals who are – so when I attend networking events, I’m actually introduced as “Sheila – she doesn’t “do” digital but she’s hugely creative – and measures her success by YOUR sales” – That’s an okay – and clearly differentiating – introduction – by me.

Follow-up – Follow-up – Follow-up

Don’t put those business cards in a drawer and check in every 3 months to see who changed jobs or call them immediately looking for an introduction to the decision maker in their office (unless they volunteer it, of course):

Connect with them on Linkedin (again, stats say a personal note increases connection rates). 

Send a thank you note for their time

Think – and do – referrals! 

Connect THEIR dots – introduce people who might be good mutual resources – take the lead in making positive e-troductions, including “why” the two people should meet.  One person struggling to grow her business sent me her database and said “just use my name . . .” Ugh, NO – but it also explains why her business was struggling.  She didn’t value her database – nor me for that matter. 

Follow-up with a coffee / lunch – or just connect at the next networking event – you should be there anyway (are you going is a great incentive / encouragement)

Be alert to articles about their business or industry – share it with them – it shows that you 1) try to stay current with business and 2) they weren’t out-of-sight / out-of-mind

And it works: 

In my roughly 10 months of actively networking in Tampa Bay – I’ve met the highest caliber of professionals – and connected to some great organizations – made my fair share of sales. I may not look like the Bullock “after” – but I’m certainly in the running for Miss Congeniality :- ) !

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!

 

How To Build Consistency In Your Business In 4 Easy Steps

When you are consistent in your business, you provide a predictable experience for your customers and clients.  Consistency builds trust, which, in turn, builds business. How can you make sure you are building consistency in your business on a daily basis?  There are several ways to do it. You can rely on things like customer experience, branding, messaging, values, language, etc. Below we will explore how to make consistency a regular occurrence in your business in 4 easy steps.  

Step ONE: Set Standards and Expectations

Setting up a strong foundation of what people can expect from your business helps to keep you, your team, and your employees accountable for delivering an outstanding product or service.  When everyone clearly knows what is expected of them, how it is to be done, what the vision is, and what standard to achieve, the natural byproduct is consistency.

Step TWO:  Document, Document, Document

Document your process for everything.  When you can provide your team and/or employees with specific steps of how you plan on accomplishing regular tasks or projects, it organically builds consistency.  If everyone is following the same guidebook, the outcome becomes predictable. Where there is predictability, there is consistency.

Step THREE:  Build Systems Based on Step TWO

To maintain consistency in your business, design systems, both automated and manual.  Systems help to make your business accurate and predictable with desirable outcomes.

Step FOUR:  Measure Everything

Measurement will tell you how consistent you and your business are.  Measured outcomes will alert you to successes, issues, and will reveal where inconsistencies are occurring in your business.  The inconsistencies that reveal themselves will alert you to successes and potential problems, allowing you to pivot and adjust as needed.

Using the four steps outlined above will help you get a start in the right direction when it comes to making consistency a priority in your business.

Are You Working In Your Business Or On Your Business?

If you are an entrepreneur, a small business owner, or someone who is responsible for a specific business unit in your company, pay close attention. The difference between working in your business or on your business can make a HUGE difference in how successful you ultimately are.

Knowing the difference

Knowing the difference between working in your business working on your business is huge. Sometimes we can get trapped into thinking we are working on our business because of the level of importance we give an activity or task. When, in reality, we can actually delegate or outsource the “important” task or activity leaving us the creative space and time to breathe life into our businesses.

Key Clues That You Are Working “In” Your Business:

Working “in” your business ties you down with tasks and activities that can be easily automated, delegated or outsourced.

Examples of these types of activities include things like:

  • Payroll
  • Bookkeeping
  • Social media and content creation
  • Customer service
  • Some marketing functions
  • Answering phones
  • Answering emails

Many of the above tasks can be delegated to people like Virtual Assistants (VAs), freelancers, hourly employees and others can be automated

Working “on” your business centers your efforts, time, and energy around things that help your business gain momentum and move forward. Things like:

  • Developing strategies
  • Setting goals
  • Measuring successes
  • Creating plans
  • Ensuring focus
  • Investing in yourself (education, workshops, etc.)
  • Hiring the right people
  • Building systems
  • Leading a team to success

How do you determine whether you have been working in your business rather than on it? You probably already have a gut feeling. But, just to make sure you pinpoint it accurately, I recommend you do the following:

  • Grab a sheet of paper and pen
  • Divide the paper into 3 columns
  • Title 1 column “Tasks”
  • Title the 2 column “Delegate”
  • At the top of the 3rd column put your name
  • Under the “Tasks” column, list all the tasks you do on a daily basis. The best way to do this is to spend an entire week recording your daily tasks or “to-dos”
  • At the end of the week review the list
  • Put a check in the “Delegate” column for all of the tasks you could outsource, give to a VA, an employee, or automate (be realistic – not everything must be done by you!)
  • Put a check in the column with your name for absolutely every task that must be done by you.

Take a shortcut!  Download my worksheet HERE

Now that you have a sense of what type of tasks you can delegate or automate, it’s time to start! You may not be able to do everything all at once…that’s ok! Start with what makes the most sense, what you can afford, and then, grow from there. For me, the first thing I chose to delegate was bookkeeping! Bookkeeping was by far, my least favorite task to do – EVER! As a result of giving this one task away, my taxes are so much easier to prepare and my accountant seems to be a little happier too!

What are you waiting for? Go work ON your business!

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

3 Things You Can Do To Up Your Instagram Game

Instagram is gaining LOTS of popularity these days and with good reason! Many accounts are seeing huge successes, gaining customers, and increasing social engagement through this one social app. Since the major algorithm change Facebook experienced earlier this year, we have noticed a huge shift in how people are using social media. Some are abandoning Facebook altogether while others are spreading their wings and dabbling in different Facebook features, yet others are exploring social platforms they’ve never tried before. One of the platforms that is gaining a lot momentum is Instagram. Why? In a word…simplicity. With its simple interface, users are able to upload, edit, and caption an image in seconds, PLUS they get immediate results and exposure, making it wildly popular.

Get in on the social momentum!

Do you want to get in on some of the Insta-action? We have 3 tips/best practices you can use to “Up Your Instagram Game” in this week’s article.

TIP #1: Go for authenticity rather than photographic genius
Instagram is the one place where stock photos generally get overlooked. Part of Instagram’s appeal and allure is the fact that you get an “in-the-moment” look into someone’s life. The most viral images are those that truly stop a moment in time, intriguing the user to want to know a little more.

TIP #2: The perfect caption
Once you have captured the perfect moment, give the user the “more” they are looking for. Give a text written explanation of the picture you are sharing. Think of your Instagram post as a micro-blog. This is your opportunity to draw the user in, offering them just enough information to encourage them to engage with your post through a heart or a comment. Comments are gold and should be your main goal. Why? Comments are the start to some pretty good conversations and engagement.

TIP #3: Let’s get exclusive
A great way to get your audience engaged and keep them coming back for more is to set the stage for exclusivity. Give them a reason to follow you on Instagram (IG). Create offers, discounts, freebies, downloads that they can only find on IG.

BONUS TIP: Instagram stories
Start dabbling in Insta-stories. Video snippets of you, your product, and service. These glimpses into your business life tend to captivate audiences. Don’t go overboard with Insta-stories. 3-5 snippets per day is a good place to start. Any more than that turns into a real-time commitment for the user, causing them to drop off and not follow through to the end of your Insta-story sequence. Play around with stories and soon you will be able to gauge your viewers, how many snippets will work best for your brand.

The most important thing to remember when using Instagram is to have fun and be you! The more people can see the real you and authentic content, the more your audience will grow, connect and engage.

~ Local Lora

© April 7, 2018

9 Tips To Get Your Business Back on Track

Have you ever felt “stuck” when it comes to your business?  I mean really stuck… Like, the type of stuck that happens when your industry changes, you move to a new city, “life” happens forcing you to re-evaluate or change your business model.  How do you make sure you make the transition and make it a successful one? Well, you are in luck! Below are 9 tips to get you and your business back on track.

 

Overall Plan

This could possibly be the hardest step in the process especially if you are in a new city or you need to “reinvent” yourself.  Creating a new plan or changing a plan that hasn’t been working can be a daunting task, especially if you are unsure of which path or avenue to take.  When you are unsure of where you should go next, let passion lead the way. Discover what part of your business you are most passionate about. Then, create multiple streams of income around that concept or idea.  What products or services can you create around those passions? Start brainstorming ideas and then grow them from there.

 

S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Once you have your products and services mapped out, assign S.M.A.R.T. goals to each product and service.  S.M.A.R.T. goals are those goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound. Following S.M.A.R.T. goals will help you stay in line with your overall plan.

 

Marketing Plan

Now that you have specific S.M.A.R.T. goals in place, it’s time to let the world know about the products and services you provide.  How will you market your business? Use a diversified plan, one that includes digital marketing, social media marketing (paid advertising on major social media channels) and traditional marketing efforts.  

 

Pop-Up Events & Workshops

Using special pop-up events and workshops are a great way to give people a taste of what you offer.  A great way for your pop-ups to get exposure is to get involved in through networking organizations, a local chamber of commerce, civic organizations, etc.  Offer to be a value-rich featured presenter.

 

Marketing Materials

Invest in leave-behind marketing materials.  These should be value-rich leaving the reader wanting more and compelling them to get in touch to learn more or get more information.  A great way to do this is to direct them to a website or landing page that captures their email information in trade for a download or access to valuable information.

Stop Working For FREE

Initially, this may be a good plan to get your name out there and to build a portfolio.  Now that you have some proven work, it’s time to collect your worth. If pro bono work is a part of your marketing plan, give yourself a budget.  Only allow yourself to provide X amount of donations (donations of time, products or services) a quarter or year. As you grow, your donations of time and talent can marginally grow with you.

 

Designated Workspace & Hours

This is so important!  It will help you stay motivated and focused if you have a dedicated area where you will work.  If you spread your workspace out all over the house, it will be difficult for you to stay organized and you will be easily distracted by tasks and household chores.

 

Invest In Yourself

The best way to grow your business is to invest in yourself.  Take the time to educate yourself, learn new things, and stay on top of trends.

 

Grow A Tribe

Use social media to reach your tribe.  Facebook groups are a great way attract like-minded people who are in search of your products or services.  It is also the ideal venue for you to interact and engage with them on a regular basis.

The above are the 9 things I turn to when my business needs a little boost as well as a positive mindset.