Episode #161 – If You Wait For Perfect… You’ll Never Start

Have you ever read one of my posts and found a typo?  How about a grammar error?  YES!  I put them there intentionally.  HAHAHAHA

Actually…

There are typos and grammar errors because if I waited for the post to be perfect you would never read it.  Now, I try to write, “as best I can”.  However, I’m not a writer.  I’m a marketer.  As a marketer I understand that a blog is important for developing a message and creating a following.  Therefore, I write.

I write as an example to you.  I write as a habit.  I do what I ask you to do!

You have a quest for a larger audience, more sales, and a better online presence.  At least this is my hope because that’s the audience I’m writing for!  I try to provide information to help reduce your learning curve in creating more sales by building your online following.  Your blog is one great way to make this happen.  It’s a time consuming passion that does create results… and yet, you resist writing.

If you don’t have time. Make time.

If you don’t think anyone will like what you write. Write anyway.

If you worry it’s not perfect. It is.

Did you catch that last one?  Hummm… I need a grammarian!  “It is” does it refer to the writing not being perfect and it is not perfect or is it referring to the writing not being perfect, but in fact the writing is perfect?  HAHA….  until I find a grammarian, I choose both.  Your writing is not perfect and at the same time it is perfect.

Focus on the information you provide your audience!  Give them yourself.  You have knowledge about your topic that no one else has.  You have stories that make it real, “relateable” and you have a perspective of “having done it”, therefore, it is perfect!

If you feel overwhelmed, start with a brainstorm session.  Come up with the three specialties you could talk to someone about for 10 minutes.  (you might have more than 3).  Next… brainstorm 50 topics for each of the three, when time stops and you find yourself completely engrossed in the topic you have found your blog theme.  Finally, write.  This is the best way to build your credibility as a subject matter expert.  Check out my article on becoming a subject matter expert, with the information society upon us, that “stuff between your ears” has become super important!

One quick reminder on your blog/subject matter expert status.  I attended a conference last March, Social Media Marketing World.  The presenter talked about her journey to creating a large podcast.  She started within her profession of pharmacy.  She joked that she bored herself with the show.  Next she loved African Art, but quickly realized that she appreciated the art but didn’t want to do an ongoing show about it.  Finally, she found her passion in helping Etsy store owners.  That’s quite a journey!   My biggest take away from her story was…

Don’t wait to be perfect, start now.

PS: if you love this post… make sure to “like” it… make sure to click the follow button!  AND… join my “week in review” newsletter

Action Steps
1- Blog. Vlog. or Podcast.  Pick one.
2- Create your topic!
3- Communicate one post.
3- Install my free app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

Question:
What topic makes you a Subject Matter Expert?

Podcast:
Listen to Episode #161 of the Two Minute Commute audio blog Podcast

 

Love this inspirational quote?  View it on a 12″ x 12″ Canvas “Social Square” wall hanging!

Two ways to get more Small Business Tips …
A- Install our Free App (SmallBusinessClubApp.com –Apple or Android )
B- Subscribe to my blog at BigFishIdeas.com

Episode #160 – New Concept In Small Business Marketing

Do you like fortune cookies?  Ok, most will say “yes”.  Here’s my theory, you like fortune cookies, but it can’t be because of the flavor.  If people actually loved the flavor of fortune cookies you’d have fortune cookie flavored ice cream, etc.  Fortune cookies taste “fine” but honestly, if you had two plates one with a fortune cookie crushed into several pieces, and one with a chocolate chip cookies crushed into several pieces, which would you eat?  That’s right, no contest…  Chocolate Chip!  (That’s my favorite!)

So why do we eat fortune cookies?

Because of the experience!

It’s everything from when you eat them… can you eat them before or during your meal… do you have to wait until after?  It’s the sound they make when you crack one open not knowing if it shatters or breaks evenly. Then the noise as you slide the paper out to reveal your fortune.  It’s such a ritual that there is even a word game you can play with the fortune.  The experience of the cookie is what you remember.

At your business do you have a fortune cookie moment?

What is your “ordinary cookie” that transforms into an experience for your customer?

Here’s one we do… and believe me it’s NO big deal but to our customers it’s a huge event.  I have “cheater” glasses for use.  Seriously!  I can’t figure out why every business doesn’t have a pair on hand. Now I didn’t used to, but I experienced a business provide this “fortune cookie” moment to a guest and I thought, “that’s brilliant”!  They cost $1.00 at the dollar store.  That’s it.

I have an area that I typically sign contracts in… what I did was buy two pair and put them into colorful sunglasses’ cases that hang on a hook.  When I notice someone struggling to see, I unzip a pack and offer them.  I have only received positive responses.  I mean VERY positive responses.  The purpose of the case is to present them… it also keeps them clean and nice.  So my total investment is $4.00 for two pair of glasses and two cases.

This is delivering an experience.

There are many little ways to create experiences.  If you ship items, include a hand written thank you note.  When someone signs up for your service, shoot an individual 30 second video where you thank them for signing up and then email it to them.  These are two simple ideas, one for a product based business and one for a service based business.  Start looking for ways to create “experiences” it’s the thing that small businesses can do waaaaay better than big companies!

What is your fortune cookie moment?

PS: if you love this post… make sure to “like” it and hit the follow button!  OR… join my “week in review” newsletter

Action Steps
1- Where can you create three “fortune cookie” moments in your business?
2- Create them.  They do not have to be expensive.
3- Install my free app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

Question:
What is the best “fortune cookie” moment you’ve experienced or created?

Podcast:
Listen to Episode #160 of the Two Minute Commute audio blog Podcast

 

Love this inspirational quote?  View it on a 12″ x 12″ Canvas “Social Square” wall hanging!

Two ways to get more Small Business Tips …
A- Install our Free App (SmallBusinessClubApp.com –Apple or Android )
B- Subscribe to my blog at BigFishIdeas.com

Episode #159 – Social Media Marketing is Not Advertising, Here’s Why.

Focus.  In the world of “shiny objects” it’s very easy to get distracted.  When you get distracted your resources are split among many different things.  However, if you practice good goal setting you will be able to stay on track and when the “shiny object” comes around… you’ll be able to ignore it.

What’s a shiny object?

The shiny object is something that caches your eye and you lose your attention on what you were doing.

It’s easy to notice this with dogs.  They’ll be walking along and all of a sudden something grabs their attention.  Typically it’s a squirrel.  For my dog it’s a leaf.  He is fascinated when a leaf tumbles across the driveway.  This wouldn’t be bad but I live in a woods.  (haha)

With small businesses, social media marketing can be the Ultimate Shiny object.  You are running a business, and all that implies: hiring, scheduling, ordering, shipping, advertising, marketing, paying bills, etc.   You have a lot to do.  All you really want to do is increase sales.  You don’t need, want, or desire a career in social media marketing. You just want increased sales.  But there you are posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat… you don’t know why, you just know you should.

That’s a shiny object.

Here are a couple important things to remember about the awesomeness of Social Media Marketing. 1-Do not get consumed by Social Media Marketing and 2-do not let someone else do it for you.  You can hire someone to help you plan and to teach you, but you need to write the posts yourself.  This is the only way they sound genuine!

BTW: there is no magic number formula.  Sure you’ll read that you should post X times a day or worse when someone approaches your business as a social media expert and they make a plan that they will post X times a week.  It sounds good, but what you need are effective interactions.  The way to get effective interactions is by talking to the audience you want to attract.

OK there are two things you need to be aware of with that last sentence.  Read again: “The way to get effective interactions is by talking to the audience you want to attract.”  This means you need to talk and you need to define your audience.

1) You can create an ideal customer.  Think of your favorite, most enjoyable customer, and write down on paper all the characteristics that make up them.  Then use that as the person you are talking to with your social media marketing.  If you are attracting teens you will talk to them in a much different way than you would talk to senior citizens.  Same goes for your customers.  Talk to that ideal customer in your writings.

2) TALKING.  Social media is social.  You need to chat it up.  It doesn’t have to be long, it can be a quick “hey what’s up” type of post.  The thing to remember is social media is not advertising.  Advertising is something you pay money for… social media is a relationship.   OK, have you ever been at a conference and had a pushy “sales” person walk up to you and immediately give you their business card, elevator pitch, and then ditch you for another person.  It was like a “hit and run”.   Now have you met someone at a conference and talked with them, developed a mini-rapport, and exchanged business cards by the end of the conference.  It was a relationship.

That’s the difference between advertising and social media marketing.  Social Media Marketing is not a “hit and run” you are building a friendship, it is a lifestyle.  As such, don’t abuse your friendship by constantly asking for a sale.  Provide information.  Share your business happenings.  But leave the “hard sell” out of Social Media Marketing, save that for advertising.

Simply, start with one platform.  Find your voice then move to the next platform IF NEEDED.  But do not jump to the next level until you’ve mastered the level you’re on!

PS: if you like this post… make sure to “like” it (and hit that follow button)!  Also… join my “week in review” newsletter

Action Steps
1- Today… create a post as if you were simply talking to your favorite customer.
2- Install my free app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

Question:
What post has had the most impact with your audience (to date)?

Podcast:
Listen to Episode #159 of the Two Minute Commute audio blog Podcast

Love this inspirational quote?  View it on a 12″ x 12″ Canvas “Social Square” wall hanging!

Two ways to get more Small Business Tips …
A- Install our Free App (SmallBusinessClubApp.com –Apple or Android )
B- Subscribe to my blog at BigFishIdeas.com

Week in Review – Episodes #153 – #158

In case you missed an Episode… here’s a link to Episodes 153 – 158 of The Two Minute Commute on BigFishIdeas.com.

You can also access it on my Free App: SmallBusinessClubApp.com

Thanks for being here!!!

Would you do me a favor and join my “week in review” newsletter, that way, I’ll also be able to keep you posted on my progress of upcoming books, speaking events, etc…

Episode #158 – Trust the Process for Social Media Marketing or You Will Be Left Behind.

Have you ever noticed how fast things go now?  I remember my Grandma saying that things are much faster than when she was a child.  Now, 40 years later it seems even faster.  Well, it’s true.  Not to get too technical there is a multiplying effect that happens. The first desktop computer we bought had a memory of 250 MG, now we’re at trigs of memory… the reason is once you have a skill or a technology advancement, that is the new zero.

Look at athletes.  Is a football or basketball game different now than 40 years ago?  The reason I mention sports is because last night I found an old baton video online of an outstanding 6 year old from 1985.  I remember watching her performance live.  She was better than most 20 year olds at the time.  She was over the top amazing, especially for 6 years old, she set a bar.  The bar was, all 6 year olds (or any age) needed to be at that level to win nationals.  Since she was only 6, for the next 15 years she could do nothing but improve (and she did).  Here’s the funny part, I watched this “incredible video” and in 2017 and her skill today would be considered a “high level beginner”.  There was nothing for the sport to do but improve.  I understand baton twirling and I know nothing about the history of football/basketball… but I imagine the advancement in those two sports to be even larger!

What ever today’s best is, will soon be average.

The reason is because that “best” can be taught.  The person who has the skill can be studied and improved upon.  The learning curve to get to “best” was immense, however, to surpass “best” is just a matter of following a process (and a lot of practice).

This goes for EVERYTHING.

You must trust the process.

Social Media Marketing is a new process.  I’m getting frustrated by watching so called “experts” push things on small businesses like, “post 7 times a day on these 3 platfoms and you’ll achieve success” – it doesn’t work like that.  There is a process.  There is no short cut.

1) Develop content that people want to read.  2) Consistently post that content targeted for your audience. 3) Position yourself as the expert in your niche by posting content people want to read.  This is the Infinity Marketing Loop.

That’s it.  That’s the big secret to social media marketing.

Content can be reports, words, reposts, video, audio, infographics, photos, ANYTHING.  Targeting your audience can be on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, Email, Texting, or over 200 other platforms.  Becoming the expert is ALL YOU.  It is what you continue to learn, express and share.  This is about building relationships, not about “posting”.

This is the reason social media marketing is evolving so quickly.  There is a process and everyday it’s improved upon.  The reason you may feel “overwhelmed” or “left behind” is because the improvement of the area doubles just like memory on your computer.  Yesterday’s “new skill” or breakthrough or “best” is today’s “average”.

But just like sports, you need to start and practice.  You need to “compete” at your level.  There are no short cuts and just like sports, no one can do it for you.  You can hire a great coach, but you’re the one that needs to sweat.

Would you do me a favor and join my “week in review” newsletter, that way, I’ll also be able to keep you posted on my progress of upcoming books, speaking events, etc…

PS: if you like this post… make sure to “like” it (and hit that follow button)!

Action Steps
1- Create a content mission statement.  This will focus you!
2- Create an “ideal customer” to determine where they hang out online
3- Start providing that “ideal customer” with your fabulous content!
4- Install my free app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

Question:
What are your top two challenges to social media marketing? – click here to answer.

Podcast:
Listen to Episode #158 of the Two Minute Commute audio blog Podcast

Love this inspirational quote?  View it on a 12″ x 12″ Canvas “Social Square” wall hanging!

Two ways to get more Small Business Tips …
A- Install our Free App (SmallBusinessClubApp.com –Apple or Android )
B- Subscribe to my blog at BigFishIdeas.com

Episode #157 – Don’t Get Left Behind, You Want an Infinity Product in Your Small Business

What you believe, you achieve.  If you believe you have money, you will.  If you believe you are poor, you are.  And remember there is a huge difference between being broke and being poor.  This all comes down to what you believe.

Well, what you believe and the action you take based on that belief.

Think about it, if income were based on the economy, no one would make money in an economic downturn.  There are people that make money regardless of if the economy is good or bad.  In fact some make a tremendous amount when the economy is bad.  And by economy, every business has a national economy and a local economy.  If you are a weather dependent business, you realize that the national economy could be stellar, but if there’s no snow and you own a ski resort…  your local economy sucks.  Which begs the point, how is it your philosophy?

Profit Centers are the ability to get all those eggs out of one basket.

It is today’s reality that we can reach unlimited local economies.  Granted you can’t move your ski resort (or make it show).  So, what can you do?  Sell season passes prior to the start of the season, think of it like a subscription based business, you pay regardless of if you use the product.  Next, enhance your online presence.  If you have a retail store with wholesale relationships, sell online.  Start to diversify so weather is less of a factor.  During a good weather season the main profit center feeds the others, but in a bad weather season, the secondary profit centers need to mitigate the risk.

Finally, if you want to elevate your income potential you have to become an Infinity Product business.  This is not just making money while you sleep.  We all can do that.  Put a product online and the next morning you wake up to sales.  That’s cool.  And I love it.  But you still need to make the product and ship it.  There’s a lot of work that goes into that “money while you sleep” concept.

What I’m talking about is your business needs a component that grows unlimited.  Stop for a moment and think about Amazon.  It is unlimited in it’s size potential, it’s kind of like the joke… “I was surfing the internet and reached the end”.  It’s impossible to reach the end of the internet, much like it’s impossible for Amazon to stop growing.   Amazon does not have a stopping point because more vendors will continue to join and sell things.  They are not inhibited by physical limitations.  They are different from a physical shopping mall… when all 100 store fronts filled up, the mall’s income potential (via rent) is reached.  What is your Amazon product?

Just to be clear, I’m not saying “what is the product you are going to sell on Amazon?”  I’m saying, “what is the product you are going to create to add to your business that has an unlimited in growth potential such as Amazon?”

To stir your creative juices… I have a real estate broker’s license in Illinois.  I live out of the State.  To participate in the continuing education requirement it used to involve my physically traveling to Illinois to sit in classroom training.  Therefore, the course was taught by one instructor with 30 students at $250 each.  OR… $7,500 per day ($250 x 30)…

The real estate school is a small business owned by the instructor who travels from area to area renting a classroom in cities around the State.  So in addition to promotion he has travel expenses, room rental cost, and a max number of students that fit in a class.  I took his class a couple years ago and I did not travel to Illinois.  He added a webinar format in compliance with Illinois license requirements.  Are you ready for the fun part?  The webinar was a simple video camera at the back of the classroom focused on him while he taught the standard course.  He had his 30 students in the room, but online there were 184 enrollees!!!!  He picked up an extra $46,000 (184 x $250) just by adding an unlimited growth product, otherwise known as an Infinity Product.

So I ask the question again…

What is your Infinity Product?

Please help me… I’m in the process of creating my Infinity Product, would you do me a favor and join my “week in review” newsletter, that way, I’ll be able to keep you posted on my progress with updates.  Thanks!

PS: if you love my post, give it a “like” (and hit that follow button)!

Action Steps
1- What is your Infinity Product?  Spend some time thinking about this… you need one.  It’s the way to truly bring your business to the next level.
2- Install my free app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

Question:
What is the coolest Infinity Product you’ve ever seen?

Podcast:
Listen to Episode #157 of the Two Minute Commute audio blog Podcast

Love this inspirational quote?  View it on a 12″ x 12″ Canvas “Social Square” wall hanging!

Two ways to get more Small Business Tips …
A- Install our Free App (SmallBusinessClubApp.com –Apple or Android )
B- Subscribe to my blog at BigFishIdeas.com

Episode #156 – Don’t Get Left Behind, Look Out the Rear View Window for Marketing Ideas.

If the rear view is cleaner than the windshield, does that mean you should turnaround  and look that way because it’s a better view?  I hear the resounding “no” from the crowd to keep going forward.

Well… maybe you should look back.

You’ve got to know where you’ve been to know where you’re going.  For example, numbers.  You need to know the outcome of your advertising campaigns.   Is the effort you’re putting in producing results that are worth it?  The only way to know this is to stop and look back.

I also like looking back, especially in established businesses, to see what worked 10 years ago.  Funny thing is, it will work again but maybe in a different format.  Dust off old advertisements, look at how you described your products and services.  You might not place the advertisement in the same brochure or location, but the words are still powerful.  There also may be an interesting way that you connected with a customer.  Just because social media didn’t exist 10 years ago, doesn’t mean that we didn’t connect socially with our customers.  Look to your past to see how you built today’s success.

If your business is a little newer, think of the most creative ways that companies communicated with you in the past.  And bring it up to today’s technology.

OK, I’m sounding a little to “hypothetical”

Here’s a great example.  I worked in college admissions for 5 years in the mid-90’s.  We used to send out a “thick envelope” or a “thin envelope”.  I’m pretty sure you know what that means… thick, is the welcome packet, thin is the bad news.

Well, even though today everything could be done “online”… colleges still send out “congrats” packs… BUT… and this is the fun part… they recognize the power of social media.  They send a hashtag sign in the packet or they send out a souvenir (hat / shirt) from the school, or even a board game… all of these are an attempt to give the student props so they can broadcast their good news Snapchat, Instagram, etc… that “they’re in”!  I follow lots of baton twirlers and it’s really fun to see what “next level” college creativity comes in the welcome pack.  It’s a BIG deal.

But learn from that example.  Do you have an opportunity to “welcome” new customers.  They may not post on social media… but then again, they might.  If you’re over 35 this might sound strange, because it still seems strange to me, but at Christmas… the teens will post a picture of ALL their unwrapped Christmas gifts with the text “thank you” or “look what I got for Christmas”.  Again, it’s just odd to me, but this is how they communicate and it’s completely normal to them.  You must speak your customer’s language, and here’s something to think about, their parents have become familiar with this “language”… so I say, include something in your welcome pack that creates a “wow” factor and you might get some unexpected “social help” from your customers.

Alrightie… How is this “looking back” with today’s inspiration in mind… I looked back to the college packets we sent out and how they’re different today to get an inspiration of how to communicate with my current customers. Don’t forget what your marketing was, embrace it and enhance it!

PS: if you love my post, give it a “like” (and hit that follow button)!

Action Steps
1- Look Back!  Think about the way you used to communicate with your customer, is it still relevant today?  Look to the way you described things, or the cycle of marketing you once did.  Just because you no longer use postage stamps, doesn’t mean the message is irrelevant!
2- Install my free app! (SmallBusinessClubApp.com)

Question:
What is the most creative social media post of a “welcome pack” you’ve seen?

Podcast:
Listen to Episode #156 of the Two Minute Commute audio blog Podcast

 

Love this inspirational quote?  View it on a 12″ x 12″ Canvas “Social Square” wall hanging!

Two ways to get more Small Business Tips …
A- Install our Free App (SmallBusinessClubApp.com –Apple or Android )
B- Subscribe to my blog at BigFishIdeas.com