Business Tip of the Month: Collaboration


Collaboration – noun

the action of working with someone to produce something.
synonyms: cooperation, alliance, partnership, participation, combination, association
Collaborating isn’t just something big companies do within different departments…….or work place, you can also collaborate for your business.
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 Why would you collaborate?
 Cooperating with other businesses who are in the same profession is all too often seen as a negative way of  working with the competition or even undermining your own expertise, but in today’s world, this needs to be  re-thought!

It takes much more energy to be better than the competition, beat pricing, offer a quicker, simple  service……..
and the end result is a race to the bottom line!

In the end, someone has to win!

Please don’t get me wrong – Winning business can be done separately, and you will have your own leads, sales and connections coming in, but being too competitive can get very stressful and can cause energy sapping and penny chasing…… You can rise above this!

So what if you turned it on its head? What if you had a trusting relationship with the only other person in the room who does what you do? Even better, what about working with someone who isn’t in competition with you, but has the same client base as you?

Great example -
EG. Hairdressers who don’t offer Beauty, Massage or even working with Gyms!

They have the same target clients but 100 different people……if they shared their data their client base would increase but 300%…..just 10% would mean 30 new clients EACH! If these guys worked together, they could also offer mutual discounts and special offers to win more clients. They could promote each other on social media. This is without any kind of reward offered for finding new clients…. All this, means – mutually beneficial partnerships or Host Benefactoring

Host benefactoring –

Group of business people assembling jigsaw puzzle An example of How it works:
You write to my clients with an offer
I write to your clients with an offer
1. You look like you are offering your clients something new = a gift
2. Letter comes from a trusted source = Not a cold canvassing = More likely to buy
3. Gain access to a wider client base

How people in the same industry can help each other:
SHARE Common Clients –

When a company is spending on marketing, looking for services
Magazine example – If a company is spending money on marketing and asks for other publications – recommend someone you work closely with if you can (What do you think would happen when they get the chance to return the favour?)

Burnt Leads – Share leads you have no chance to get back – offer to someone you trust, they will do the same for you!
Playing it forward – Offer referrals – Testimonials
Knowledge – Share tips and knowledge – helps improve skill sets and problem solving… more minds on one problem helps to solve things faster. You may be weak in some places, and stronger in other areas. Collaborating helps you broaden your resources.

Shed clients you don’t like/make money from/that are too much work – Not everyone gets on…pass on people you can’t work with Costs and Money – Collaborating can help you save costs on services, resources, membership, all sorts of things can be pooled.

CONTRA – Exchanging services helps reduce costs
Share Success/Results – If you have found a successful way of working, share with others…they will share their ideas with YOU!
There are so many different ways to collaborate!
This is all assuming that there is a return policy on what you are doing.

sales-marketing

 Getting started –

NOT EVERYONE WILL WANT TO COLLABORATE – They may see this as a tactic, untrusting     and won’t understand why…..don’t force it, move on to someone who does….

MAKE SURE that you both agree and understand why you are doing this in advance! Set out the         terms and be clear how you see it working for both of you!

Be patient……it may take some time……persist in working with others!

They will only have positive things to say about you and this enhances trust!

Collaboration should be seen as a vital strategy: it is the key to long-term business success and competitiveness. Businesses that realize this sooner rather than later will be the ones who win the game and succeed.

Just think of it this way – If there are 5 people competing in the same space, but 2 of them are working together, which ones do you think would be stronger?

For more advice, please contact me via 07898 870 870.

Business Tip of the Month: Telesales

How do you find business today?
Would you consider what you are doing selling?
Hands Up who doesn’t like cold calling or has never done it!

hands up omni local

People generally hate a cold call – Giving and receiving!

There is a misconception that cold calling or telesales has some kind of sleazy image.
People hate rejection – but it happens… people make it too personal towards themselves… nobody likes getting called out of the blue and being sold to.
Not only that, but there has been a lot of bad reputation built on the back of PPI – Accidents etc!
Its not liked, mainly because your telesales are really about interrupting someone’s pattern in their day!

I have built several businesses on the back of telesales….it’s the cheapest and quickest way to find sales and inject cash into ANY business…….What I hope I can show you here is that it doesn’t have to be cold, doesn’t have to be sleazy and hopefully I can give you the confidence to make SALES calls…..

SO, even if you have never does telesales before, or if you are an established telesales professional – this blog is set up to help everyone!

phone call omni local

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Simple Lessons
1. What guarantees rejection? – WHEN IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU.
Within the first 20 seconds you need to make sure you get more time!

NEVER TALK ABOUT YOU! OR YOUR PRODUCTS!
Imagine you are in a bar. You have just been introduced to a friend of a friend……and then he or she starts the conversation like this – (and we have all met one of these people!)
Hi My name is Martin, I drive a Ferrari, I own a big house, earn lots of money and have such an amazing life! I don’t need anything or anyone…….blah blah blah……oh and last year we went of several holidays…..dont you just like my life?”

I can guarantee you may be saying to yourself, ‘what an ass….how do I get away from this person ASAP?’
This is because we are only interested in people that are interested in us! Martin is only interested in himself! Can you see how that works?
If not, our fight or flight instinct kicks in because we want to prevent ourselves from being bored to death or even outshone.

telesales angry omni local

 

 

 

 
So why would YOU do this to someone you have never met?
It’s typical for someone on the end of the phone selling to you to say, “Is that Mr Smith?
- Before you can even reply, they bust into a script — We are XYZILLION CO, we sell the best widgets in the world! We offer the best service, the lowest cost and we are much better than our competitors! I want to come and see you and show you why we are the best!
Can I come and waste even more of your time?”

How do you feel when you hear this…Hang Up – How do I get rid of the caller?
SO DON’T BE ME FOCUSED.
If you do, you will find a lead sometime, but it will beat you up and the time versus results will diminish your confidence with rejections and no sales coming in.

2. Understand why you are calling
- Do you want to set up an appointment?
- Do you want to send them something?

3. Telesales should not be a numbers game
QUALITY MATTERS!
If you had a pay as you go phone, and you only had £2.70 to make calls….. each call costs you 15p….. and you have a list of 100 people you would like to call. Which of these 100 would you try and call before your money ran out? Having this focus actually helps you decide who is important to call. Who would you more than likely get a result from, and who helps you prioritise your SALES calls…….the easy way to do this is – Where is the money in this call list?

THIS IS ALL ABOUT TARGETING WHO YOU WANT TO SPEAK TO……
But also – Do some homework about the person you are going to call!

  • You may have met them at an Omni Local Business Networking Meeting
  • They may have been a referral
  • Look at press releases
  • They may be advertising online or in a magazine like Omni Local – etc
  • Get to know something about them so you can have a human conversation…….
  • Once you understand these processes then you can focus on a script!

4. Three solid parts of any telesales script
WHAT YOU SAY IN THE FIRST 20 Seconds counts!
YOU NEED A SCRIPT!

Script writing omni local

 

 

 

 

 

 
Having a script might seem repetitive and boring, but it will help you keep on track.
Stopping someone engaging their fight or flight mode in 20sec is difficult! But if you don’t, 99 out of 100 calls will fail.
Having a great script might not come easy or you may not get it right the first time, but if you have one, you can improve with each call made. Once you have one….YOU MUST KNOW IT BY HEART and not read it when you are calling…..

Reading a script will make you sound like you don’t care, or come across as just another telesales call. On top of this, you may lose your place in the script and find it hard to get back into the flow! Record the objections and build this as your secondary script.

BUT YOU DEFINITELY NEED A SCRIPT!
3 things needed without fail:
1. Who are YOU
2. Why are you calling
3. WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM! Or (WIIFM)

But remember -
Put yourself in their world when you think about what you are going to say!
Of course you need to know who you are calling…
BUT YOU NEED TO TALK ABOUT THEM – Your research will give you a reason as to why you are calling.
What has worked extremely well for me is – “Hi XYZ”, or if it’s a company, just lead in with –
“Hi, my name is John, have I caught you at a bad time?”
You will get:
Yes – “Sorry, I’ll call back, when would be much better?“
No – “Great…….”
Yes, but… – This means they are interested, or may be open to listening… you would state, “I saw your XYZ moment…” and ask if there is a better time to call.

EG> “I saw your advert in the local Gazette. How is it going for you?”
EG> “I saw your friend Geoff at a networking meeting last week, he suggested I give you a call, he thinks we could work well together, could you tell me more about your business or what it is you guys do?”
EG> “Congratulations I saw you raised £2000 for charity!”

I really try hard not to give away who I am until I have got their tone or have a few words first. This helps you keep your train of thought, which belongs to them – This is who am I talking to…this is a great way to get past the first 20 seconds.

But if asked, I would say, I am John from XYZ and I was really interested to know more about YOU (keep this short and sweet)! Don’t go into ANY detail, turn the conversation back to them and don’t be tempted to sell or say why you are calling.

Once you are comfortable about the conversation you can then talk about yourself! – BUT KEEP IT BRIEF… Ask questions as you go!
This is what you would then say:
“I am calling because I have recently helped save companies like XYZ save around 40% on XYZ services (Or raised extra money, ETC).
Business at your level of time/money is precious, so I’d like to keep this brief. I am keen to see IFI can help YOU!
I have seen your website, and it has left me with a couple of questions, could you just help me with a couple things? If I can’t help, then no worries…..but even still, I’ll keep your details and pass on to anyone I know who may be interested in what you do.

Then once you have this permission, you have more time to get to their pains, understand buying triggers and you can take passive control.
The more conversation the better…..it will build trust
Once you feel you are certain to get what you are looking for, set up a meeting by expressing that you are sure you can help them and you are keen to work together, or send them your material. Make sure you agreed an exact time to call back.

This approach works because:

  • I have not actually said what I do
  • It’s not about ME ME ME
  • It shows I have done some research and I am taking them into account….not just a cold call
  • It has stated a benefit
  • It has said that you have other companies in their sector
  • It has pointed out a common pain – time/money
  • It’s asking permission to take more of their time – engaging
  • Using the word IF at the end creates intrigue – You are not trying to close a sale, you are seeing if you can help! ….and you are offering referrals!
  • If you ask the right questions, you will get to know what their issues are….what pains you can solve and you will get to know the words the person uses. This would be a whole other topic……

NEVER SAY:
“WE are the best in market“
“I WANT to show you how”
“I NEED you to see”
“Let me TEACH YOU”
Or anything like this…..it’s all to forceful and its about YOU and YOUR control.

DON’T ALSO USE JARGON – Don’t say things like:
“Cutting Edge Technology”
“Forefront of the future”
“Infrastructure”
“Mind Blowing”
All of these are too cheesy!

NEVER ASK CLOSED QUESTIONS!
YES/NO is too risky! There is a chance of a NO which is about 85%. Unless you are certain you will get a YES…..Like “Is your name Steve?”

5. Rejection ????
– Even after you have gone through this you may still get someone who says no…that’s fine, but at least you made the call.
If you are absolutely convinced that you or your services genuinely offer help to others, then you are more than 90% there, and you are merely asking them to show you how.

Omni Business Tip Phone

 

 

 

 

 


THE FINAL TIPS…..
SCHEDULE TIME TO DO THIS. IF YOU DO YOUR ACCOUNTS ON THE LAST DAY, THEN MAKING CALLS SHOULD HAVE THE SAME IMPORTANCE!
KEEP A RECORD – Results, Objections, Number of Calls, Targets etc – helps improve!
Remember why you called…do you want an appointment or to send them a brochure in the post?

DON’T BE TOO PUSHY!
NEVER DEBATE – Even if you are right, you will lose!
DON’T MAKE IT COMPLICATED!
NEVER ACCEPT ANYONE WHO GIVES YOU ABUSE…..HANG UP MOVE ON TO SOMEONE ELSE YOU CAN HELP!

For more advice on telesales, get in touch with me directly at sales.omnilocal@gmail.com.

Business Tip of the Month: Search Engine Optimisation

This month’s business tip is supplied by Mark Rouvray of Activ Web Design Kingston. Mark has plenty of valuable tips on online marketing for your business. Please read on for advice about SEO and how to get in touch with Mark. 

SEO is dead! Really? 

SEO tag cloud

Many theorists have reported the demise of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) as a method for improving website rankings on Google search results. However, in practice, many small businesses are still finding that SEO is clearly working to give them substantially better rankings than their competitors. Although the methods employed for search engine optimisation have changed over time to keep up with Google’s latest algorithm for indexing, the reported death of SEO seems somewhat premature.


What is Search Engine Optimisation?

Search engine optimisation is comprised of two parts: on-site and offsite. On-site SEO is all about making sure the website has been built correctly in order to promote the key marketing search terms. Those terms need to appear in all the right places and be coded in a way that gives the correct emphasis for Google. The on-site SEO is about 30% of the overall battle to improve rankings.

It is essential that this is done well or all other efforts will be ineffective. The other 70% of the effort is known as offsite SEO and is about promoting the website across the Internet for those key search engine marketing terms – helping you to build a wider online presence.

How important are search engine ranking positions (SERPs)?

Research shows that on average, the websites on the first page of Google for particular search term get 99% of all clicks. That leaves a very poor 1% for all the other website on the rest of the Google search results. In fact, the higher you get on that first page of Google makes a significant difference.

The top three websites will get 65% of all clicks and the no.1 website will get 40% of all the clicks – so every extra improvement in rankings really counts. In addition, the natural search results tend to be trusted over the paid ads (Pay Per Click) with 40% of people saying they never click on paid ads.

GoogleSearch

Determining your key search engine marketing terms

The starting point for any SEO work is to determine the most relevant key search engine marketing terms for a business to target. There are three key factors to take into account.

1) The search demand for that particular keyword. There is no point in putting a lot of effort into keywords that rarely get searched.

2) The competition online for those specific keywords – often competition will be high if the search demand is also high. Sometimes you might be lucky to find an opportunity where demand is reasonable for a search term and yet online competition is not as high as some of the other search terms.

3) You need to assess the likelihood of converting any interest generated by that search term into business and the value of that business to you. Search terms that more specifically relate to your services\location and also imply an intention to look for paid goods or services (e.g. consultant, services, advisor, buy) are likely to be better.

The most common mistake people make is to target the home page of the website for their key search engine terms when in fact they should structure the website so that individual pages are focused on different search terms. In general, it is best to have a page focused on just one or two key phrases rather than all your phrases. That way it is easier to optimise the page for Google and it provides well written, targeted pages that will be presented to potential clients who search for your services.

SEO can seem complicated and daunting for a small business and engaging a supplier can seem even more confusing. However, ultimately it is quite simple – it’s results that count. Any reputable SEO supplier should be able to show you clear results achieved for other small businesses like yourself and you can then determine whether they can do the same for you.

Don’t be influenced by false promises of guarantees for number one positions because logically there can be no guarantees. Nobody can control your competition who may spend more money on SEO than you and nobody can control Google. Don’t let anyone tell you they can fix your SEO in a one-off exercise – it requires ongoing work over a long period of time.  Ultimately, it is a worthwhile investment in your number one marketing asset – your website.

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Mark is owner of Activ Web Design (Kingston & Wimbledon) and provides a personal dedicated support for small local businesses that want to grow through professional online marketing, including web design, SEO, mobile sites & apps and email marketing.

Mark Rouvray – Online Marketing for small businesses
Activ web Design (Kingston)
Mob: 07813 935955
Web: www.TheSurreyWebDesigner.co.uk
Email: mark.rouvray@activwebdesign.com

Business Tip of the Month: Why it’s Important Knowing your Target Market

 

When you are starting up your own business or even reviewing your marketing budget, getting to know your target market is vital for survival or making huge savings.

Who is your target market?

These are exactly who they sound like. The people who you want to sell your product or service to. These can also be referred to as target audiences. Your Target Market should reflect both the product you are selling or the service you want to sell. Getting this wrong is so easy by saying EVERYONE!

How to define your Target Market

In most cases, this can be easy….After all you are not going to sell high heels to a 3 year old…..and you are not likely to be able to sell meat to a vegetarian! So working on this basis is a great way to start thinking about who will actually buy your product or services.

The best way I would be able to describe this, would be to think about who buys from you again and again, and without being prompted or needing any encouragement.

Starting with Gender is very obvious, but not in all cases. So have a list of questions (here is a short sample) and see if you can answer all of them (remember, these are people you want to sell to) -

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Income
  • Employment status
  • Where do they Live (House, Flat and then areas…think about if they are there for views or access to motorways etc)
  • Educational background (Degree Level, High School, Private)
  • Family Status (Single, Married, Kids?)
  • Hobbies (This can be broken down into several categories, you could even include their TV watching habits)

And the list can go on……And it’s important that the more refined you are the more you are getting to know your clients.

For mainstream products you can generalise, but if you don’t have too much money or you are looking to save money, really being specific about who you need to sell your products or services to saves not just money, but a heap of time and effort convincing people who are not interested.

The way I would think about this is to say to yourself, I have only 18p left on my pay as you go phone, who do I know I can call and will buy what I have to sell?….Look at your list and if you sell to guys over 40, in a management position and live alone, then he is more likely to buy from you than an 18 year old girl who lives at home with Mum and Dad.

Building an ideal target audience not only helps you save money, time and everything else, but it will help you with your advertising designs, where you advertise and when. On top of this, it’s great for people to send you clients or customers, also known as Referrals. If you know exactly what you are looking for, then it is easy for others to know, and easier to recommend you to the right people.

Here is an example – I recently advised a client to run some marketing on LinkedIn, and said that they should do it at 7.30pm on a Sunday. I can’t tell you the client’s name or what they do, but their target audience was professional guys over 40 in a specific profession which requires a level of organisation. Now, I suggested this because the target audience may not be able to speak or may have issues sending emails during their working day, Saturday would be time with Kids and Family and this was the optimum time when they would start looking at their week ahead.

Because the advert was targeted at men, the colours used, layout and the language made sense to that target audience, I used LinkedIn because of the nature of the profession, and we could search for this criteria.

My client received 10 times more interest within 1 hour than they did in the whole week’s spend with online adverts.

So, I am sure you would agree with me……getting to know who your target market is can be very rewarding. Spend some time on these key clients and think how they think. The return on this is kindling for everything else you want to do.

More: BUY THIS BOOK – Target Marketing for the Small Business: Researching, Reaching and Retaining Your Target Market by Linda Pinson (Author) & Jerry Jinnett (Author)

REVIEW – It’s a very quick read, I actually did it in a weekend. This book will help you understand who is buying what, and why. You will be able to quickly understand how to reach your target clients or customers and arm you with everything you would need to build relationships with your customers and keep them coming back!

BUY IT HERE

 

This Month’s Business Tip: Call Handling Services for SME’s

Did you know that up to 50% of people who hear an answering machine tend to hang up the phone?

You could be missing half of your calls!

So this is YOU. You are a small business, just about to break that ceiling of being a start-up company to an established business. Your business has been going for about 2-3 years. You have met your targets, business is now making money and you have the dream within reach.

Now, imagine you are standing in front of Sir Alan Sugar; you are in the middle of selling your famous widget and your mobile rings! Or even worse, the calls go straight through to your answering machine!

Trying to get hold of you is Richard Branson! He is returning your call to set up an appointment because he is also, interested in stocking your widget.

What would you do?

How does Richard Branson feel, getting a dodgy answering machine hearing, “SORRY I missed your call…..blah, blah……..”? Or even worse – an SMS saying “Sorry, I’ll call you later”.

Do you think he would leave a message, call you back?

How do you feel when it happens to you? I know how it feels to get an answering machine, especially when I am conducting some telesales. Sometimes, you can’t blame people for thinking – Is this person avoiding me????

Now, put yourself in this position. You are still standing in front of Alan Sugar sorry Sir Alan Sugar, and your mobile is now diverted to a virtual assistant or Call Handler. The phone is then answered “Good morning XYZ Widgets. How can I help you?”. Richard Branson then asks to speak to you. “Please excuse Mr/s Jones, but he/she is in a meeting. Can I help in any way, Mr Branson?”

Mr Branson, sorry Richard, then says that he would like to book that appointment. How do you think he would feel if that person then says “I can do that for you Mr Branson, let me check the schedule. When would be convenient for you sir?”

I know that I would definitely prefer the above than an answering machine!

And how much do you think this would cost? What if I told you this could cost as little as £1.00? Would this be the best pound you have ever spent? I know it would sound like a good investment to me.

Now this is not everyday practice for most of us who run a business, but the help or assistance is practically the same. If you are in a meeting it would be more professional to have someone actually answer the phone and take a message. In this day and age, I feel that we are moving ourselves away from old school personal contact and relying too much on technology, emails and answer machines.

On top of this, the service you offer to potential customers or clients is something many businesses should consider as marketing. Even if the person calling isn’t a client or customer they should still be left with a certain image.

Furthermore, what about those days, when you really can’t get anything done? You have a pile of paperwork which you MUST get through. We have all had days when the slightest thing can distract you. If you are like me, and hate admin, when a call comes in its hard not to show your frustration about the call getting in the way of the thing I am in the middle of doing.

What about when you want to take a break or long weekend. What about breaking up for Christmas?

No matter what business you are in, you can always get your calls answered in a profession manner and maintain a professional image.

How to choose the right Call Handling Service

There are many different services offered by many companies, but I would suggest calling Janine from Zeb.PA. first, and there are 2 main reasons for this:

1. Zeb.PA is an independent small business, who understands each of their client’s individual needs.

2. Zeb.PA is much more than a telephone answering service. They provide vital admin and support functions virtually. A PA service that acts as an integral part of a business, meaning they can handle more than just an inbound call.

Sorry…..3. Zeb.PA is offering a FREE Trial of their services!

 

But, if you are going to shop around, then ask someone you know if they have used a service. There is nothing like a personal recommendation. Then test the services of that recommendation they are using.

A good professional call answering service can leave you feeling (as a potential client or customer to the business you are calling) confident that you are dealing with a good reliable and professional business and you are happy to buy their services because the person who answered the call spoke to you in the way you would expect to be dealt with.

A good call handling service will be able to help your potential clients. If you use a service like Zeb.PA, they could even book client appointments, chase up payments (credit control), and set up a call transfer if the caller is Richard Branson. This service can be provided anytime, anywhere. If you want to, just divert your calls for an hour a day or even for an entire month, a call handling service can help your business. NOT TO MENTION ALL THOSE DAMNED CANVASSING CALLS FOR PPI!

A call handling service isn’t for everyone, but if you have a lot of inbound calls, or calls to your mobile number, then having someone who can screen the calls saves you a heap of time.

Take a look at Janine’s Website, and think about it…… How much better would your day be if someone at Zeb.PA was looking after your calls?

Tel:     020 8234 6104

Email:   janine.kirkland@zebpa.co.uk

Web:   www.zebpa.co.uk/swlondon

Don’t forget to ask for a FREE Trail and let her know that you got her number from Omni Local.



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Business Tip: Vision Boards

Vision Boards

I try to help everyone in my daily life, and one of my favorite things is shooting ideas from the hip. Some are creditable and some seem completely mad….either way doing something is always better than doing nothing. I suggested to someone a while ago to have a vision board and they had no idea what I was talking about. The topic of a vision board also came up during one of the many networking meetings I went to. So in this blog, I am going to show why you would want one, how to make one and will explain how they work!

So what is a vision board?

A vision board is a set of images, notes, inspirational quotes or clippings that are located somewhere for you to look at every day. It’s a bit like a cartoon story board, but for life.

Some like to have their vision board in their place of work, where they can see it at all times. There are different types of vision boards, but I am talking about a desire type of vision board. This is designed to help you achieve everything you want out of life.

A vision board should be the center of everything you want to be, desire, achieve and to have in your life. Your vision board is extremely personal and something which you can’t just copy. The images, quotes and anything else included on your vision board should be your true desires and represent everything you dream for.

It’s a daily reminder of what you want out of life for yourself, and possibly your loved ones around you.

Why would you have one?

I would reply, “Why not? What harm can it do?.” If you have ever been to my office, you will see I have a very simple one. I have 3 sheets of paper on the wall. The first sheet is my business for sale. It details turnover, profit and the eventual sale price. The second is the car I will buy when I sell the business and then the third one is the house I would put a deposit on with the change of buying the car. Now mine is very narrow but it works. When it’s hot outside and my friends are in a beer garden, I look at my vision board and it motivates me to stay and get the job done!

Your vision board may be to keep you on track, have a sense of a target or even something to dream about on a stressful day. Nothing wrong with having dreams right?

How do you start building a vision board?

You will need:

A source of images – Internet, magazines, photos showing any image of what you want.

Poster Board or Space on a wall

Glue or Blu Tack

Scissors

This is a lot of fun! Seriously, the sky is the limit. I would advise you to sit down and really imagine where you would like to be, what you want to be and most of all how you feel about getting everything you truly desire. You need to make sure you have no distractions, turn off the TV and switch off the phone. This is all about YOU!

Like all projects, I always say start at the end. Imagine what your life looks like and then work back from there. Build a list of everything you want. Forget about the images or statement to be too big or unachievable.

Do a real brain dump of absolutely everything you want. I would suggest making a large pot of your favorite coffee, tea or open your favorite bottle of wine, and scribble down everything!

 

Get as many magazines, images, quotes or statements as you can to match or represent everything your heart and soul desires. You can do this in stages, and you may not find the perfect image which matches what you want, so always be on the lookout for the nice things you are looking for. Go for it….Don’t hold back. GET MORE THAN YOU NEED. Don’t forget to clip out any words to text that you find positive, and anything which makes you smile.

You then need to go and find a space big enough for you to stick all your images to. You can buy a poster board, or canvass, but simply making a space on a wall is good enough. Just remember the location is important.

Then find a really nice photo of yourself. Make sure it’s a good one! Nothing from bad hair days or hungover from the night before….A really nice photo of you at your best! (I’ll come back to why later).

Now that you have all your desires in text or images, start taking out anything which you are not really interested in. Make sure the images you have are what truly represent what you want. If you have two or three images of the same thing, then it is clear that’s what you’re looking for. You have to try and keep hold of your dream here, but be clear about what you REALLY want.

Now start sticking these chosen images to the outside of the board or space and leave the centre empty. If you are someone who likes things to be formal and really organized, you can have images of health in one area, wealth in another, happiness in one corner and so on. I would just suggest getting started and making it happen. Once you have everything you truly desire stuck to your vision board, place the good photo of yourself in the centre.

The idea behind this is that when you can see yourself, surrounded with images of the things you want and who you want to become, the house you want to buy, the holiday you are looking for… your mind is tricked into thinking that you must have that lifestyle.

It may take a while, but if you are truly dedicated to everything you want out of life then your whole life will start to work towards the goal you have set yourself.

You only get one life, why settle for second best?

I’d love to hear if you have had any experience with building your vision board, or if you want any advice. Give me a call or drop me an email.



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This Month’s Business Tip: Writing an Advertorial

 

Top tips and advice on writing a successful advertorial

Advertorials work much better than a plain old advert. It works better because not only do you get

more focused attention from the reader, but you get to demonstrate your personality, how

professional and qualified you are, and you also get you to explain why the reader would need your

your product or services.

A great Advertorial can build trust from the reader’s point of view, while you generate need or

desire for your product or services.

Writing a great advertorial must serve 2 purposes:

1. You must have something that the reader can relate to and a topic which means something

to the reader.

2. Your Advertorial MUST generate interest from the reader and prompt them to call you.

Too many times many advertisers write great editorials and offer valuable advice, however they get

no response. The main reason is because the reader does not need to call, as there is too much

information or too much advice. On top of that, there is no evidence of a strong call to action.

Below are some tips on how to create great Advertorials –

1. Make sure you have a great headline! This must stop your ideal reader in their tracks and

grab their attention. It must be clear, precise and the reader must understand within a

second what you are writing about.

2. Once you have a great headline, then you must keep the attention of the reader by having a

strong intro. Make sure you drag the attention into the rest of the editorial. You can use this

part of the editorial to identify and align yourself with the readers and their pain points,

objections or fears.

3. Advertorial must not over sell, but don’t be afraid to talk about the process of why people

should buy your products or services. Just don’t overdo it, don’t use clichés or promise

anything which seems too good to be true, and avoid using slogans at all costs.

4. Don’t give everything away! Give just enough information, which creates either need or

desire for what you are talking about, and make sure they have enough information to know

– what, why when, where. You need to make sure that they call you. If you are struggling

with editorial, then use a case study or build a story which demonstrates what you do, but

make it from the point of view of your customers.

5. If you are going to use a story of what you are selling, think about the seasons, time of year,

the type of reader and what kind of people are reading the magazine.

6. Relate to the reader. Build editorial that can relate to your ideal target audience. If you are

in the business of selling to Mums, then make the editorial read in the style that Mums want

to read. If it is Mums you want to attract then use specific language that is more feminine.

Just remember the editorial should be about them and not you!

7. If you are selling your personal services, then use a good picture of yourself. People relate

to, and buy from people. So if they can see who they would be calling, having a professional

profile picture helps identify who you are.

8. If you have enough text space, then don’t be afraid to have a brief detail about who you are,

what experience you have or why you are doing what you are doing. If you have won any

awards or a qualified profession, make sure the readers know this. If you are part of a

professional association, then make sure you get the logo inserted on your contact details.

9. If you are selling a product, have a good picture of the product or people using your product.

10. Be absolutely clear about what you are selling. Don’t overkill, thread your message or

product throughout the editorial. Use any quotes or testimonials where you can.

11. Be absolutely clear that you want readers to contact you. You can build in a sense of urgency

by closing with BUY NOW or CALL ME BEFORE THE END OF THE WEEK, with a special offer or

discount.

12. Try not to include pricing. The only time you should run with pricing is if what you have is

exceptionally great value.

13. This might seem obvious but make sure you have your contact details included and make

sure they are correct. Trust me, getting the wrong email address or not even a telephone

number happens often.

14. Make sure you get your editorial read by someone else, and make sure you check grammar

and spelling mistakes. If you want to give a professional opinion, then you must make sure

you have no mistakes and everything reads correctly.

15. Very last top tip – MAKE SURE YOU GIVE YOURSELF PLENTY OF TIME! Be clear about the

printing deadlines. If you rush anything, mistakes can easily be made.

Be prepared that your advertorial may not work the first time you run it. You need to gain the

confidence and trust of the readers, while creating need or desire. If you are running a one off

advertorial the readers need to gain confidence and trust your opinions.

TOP AFTER TIPS!

● Once you have finished, had your editorial proofread, and published, use the article as a

blog. Post on your website!

● Why not make a YouTube video of the editorial? Make sure you put all the words into the

description. Don’t forget to tag the article for SEO!

● Use the article as a newsletter.

● Promote the editorial and the magazine you are published in. If your target clients or

customers are aware of the magazine, then they are more likely to search for it.

● Post your article on Google+, Facebook and why not tweet a link about it.

● If you are in a professional service, post on LinkedIn.

● Ask for feedback from people you know about your article. This will help you understand

what people actually understand and what message you want to get across.

 



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This Month’s Business Tip: Colour Incorporation in Business

This month I want to talk about the benefits of colour choice when it comes to business. I’m sure you’ll all agree – design flaws and shoddy penmanship are a huge turn-off when it comes to advertising!!

I have designed a lot of artwork for clients and I soon realised what NOT to do. When I compare my earlier design efforts, and I look at Omni Local magazine’s early years – I’ve actually stunned myself with how much the look and feel has improved!!

Colours are a big factor. It says something about a person and their intentions. You wouldn’t send a letter to someone in all red ink – you’re not marking their schoolwork!

Here are some generalised explanations as to what colours usually represent:-

RED - A strong, bold colour to opt for. It has the potential to really grab somebody’s attention – just be careful they don’t assume the worst, as red can seem demanding!

YELLOW - Not always the best choice for professionalism, but definitely positive/eye-catching and shows your creative, more expressive side.

BLUE - A sophisticated way to demonstrate a calm and collected demeanour – very professional. Though overusing the “cool” concept, will be harder to make things “pop!”

ORANGE - Lighthearted, which isn’t suited to all businesses – however, showing your passion and free-spirit can always be a benefit – especially when advertising exciting events.

GREEN - Offers a pleasant, friendly vibe, though can be seem dull when overused – or a clear campaign for environmental purposes; always a positive – but depends on your business!

PINK - Comforting and gender-neutral. It can be stimulating and shows psychological power – though a tendency to overuse can be physically draining and emasculating, for some.

PURPLE - Not always ideal, but adds a rich, quality feel to an advert. Its rare that anyone feels a compulsion to shades of purple, and it works for Cadbury’s!!

BROWN - Comforting and warm – think hot chocolate, oaky wooden furnishings… However, broad usage can come across as heavy, sometimes dull and masculine – so consider your theme.

BLACK - A timeless classic that really does go with anything! It creates the perception of commitment, dedication and excellence. Just don’t overdo it with the plain and simple!!

WHITE - Creates an elegant cleanliness to an ad, as long as it isn’t too empty. Make any colour by laying it onto a white background (hence, most stock photography).

GREY - Some think damp and dull, however, greys or shades like silver and chrome can also bring a very chic and modern feel to adverts or websites.

The benefits of colour consideration are clear – Find your theme, stay consistent and don’t mix in too many colours at once!!

For more ideas on how to get the most out of your business, feel free to get in touch with me directly….
Until then, stay well everyone!



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Business Tip: 5 Ways of Attracting New Customers

Finding new customers always has business owners pulling their hair out. Doing what is right for your business has no template as everyone is different, just like your USP. (Unique Selling Point).
There are a million things you can do, and below are some very obvious ones. Each idea does need some work on, and there are plans required for each one. Keeping in mind the three M’s in Marketing (Message, Market, Medium), see if you can do at least one of these over the next month. I say advertise, but I feel that would be a cheap shot!

Attract_Customers_With_Omni

1. Run a competition. If you run a competition, make sure you have a great prize. Offering 10% OFF is not good enough. You want to attract as many people as you possibly can, so the prize needs to be something significant.

2. Organise an Event. Why not hold an open day? Organising an open day or evening with free wine & cheese not only gives your customers a chance to meet you, but would also attract curious people you have not yet had the chance to convince to buy from you.

3. Sponsor a LOCAL Charity. If you have the budget, get involved in sponsoring a local charity. Local charities recently have needed a great deal of help and they are very grateful for any support they get. Not only will you be helping out, but you will also be a part of a group of people who get a lot of free PR.

4. Prove you’re an expert. Why not run monthly newsletters or blogs. Offering FREE advice helps gain confidence in the people who may be buying your products or services.

5. Say Thank You! Saying thank you in the right way to your existing customers shows how much you appreciate their money! By doing this, your customers will be happy they used your services and they will tell others. Imagine having 100 people telling everyone they know how great you are.

These ideas sound very basic, and please don’t get me wrong, each of these ideas need thinking about, and need a lot of work. For example, the competition needs marketing, an event needs time, sponsoring a charity needs careful thought to which one and why you are doing it. Proving you’re an expert takes time. On top of that, why don’t you show off your skills? Also, saying thank you needs meaning.

I have hundreds of ideas on how you can boost your business, however if I did, I’d have nothing to write about in the future. So make sure you keep reading the tips, and the most important thing is, make sure you try one or two of them.

If you need any help or want some advice, please feel free to call me.



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Business Tip: Who is your Ideal Customer or Client?

This tip might be a little too obvious to many, but it is a fact that when I ask this question I get a reply “EVERYONE” almost every time! This is totally wrong and let me explain why.

We all know most business owners don’t really know the difference between marketing and sales. Here I want to talk about marketing, and how it can help you move your business forward in 2015.

Marketing is the DNA of all sales and business. If you don’t tell people who you are, and what you do then you won’t find any business! Too often, marketing budgets and the practice of marketing are the first things to be cut out of a budget or over looked. Even in busy periods, some business owners simply let their marketing slip thinking that marketing is only important when things are bad, and then the marketing efforts are too late as it takes time to get a return.

Marketing can be an expensive process, but if you know who your ideal customer or client is, then you can easily use simple low cost marketing tools to target them and not waste any money on marketing to people who will never buy from you.

Business Handshake Omni Local Marketing

So to getting to know your ideal client can be challenging, but also worth the effort. Just ask yourself the following questions –
First and foremost — Is there a need for what I sell or offer? This is a very important question. Do I solve any particular problem or pain? This you should know in advance!

Then, you need to know -
• What is the clear message and image I want to send out
• How does what I do or sell benefit my customers or clients
• What is my USP?
• Why buy from ME and not my competitors

Then
• Who benefits from my product or service
• Who can afford my products or service
• Who is already using products or services I provide
• Where is the strongest need for what I provide or sell

Then once you have this information then ask yourself these questions
• What kind of habits does my target customers or clients have
• Do they use social media
• Read magazines
• Are they parents
• Do they own a house
• What kind of income will your target clients have

This list is endless, and the key here is to ask as many questions as possible. This will really focus on who you need to contact first and can help you build your marketing strategy.

You may have a database of 1,000 people, but imagine you can only afford to speak with 10 of them. Which ones fit the profile you have built? Not only does this make you focus, but also saves you heaps of time and saves you lots of money. It really is that simple!

Imagine a street with 1,000 houses. You own a double glazing business. Now, not all these people are going to buy from you. Some of them already have a full house of double glazing, some have part and some have none at all. Which of the houses are you going to try and sell to? — Obvious isn’t it? Now this is where sales and marketing can get confused. You could simply knock on the doors of the houses that don’t have any double glazing.

Omni Local Business Tip Knock on the Door

Two things can happen.
1. Someone answers the door, you start your sales pitch, but then they reply — “I have never heard of you, we need glazing, but we are going to use Everest! We know who they are, we can trust them”
2. Nobody is at home. SO you push your well designed sales literature through the letter box.

Without being a skilled sale person, which would you prefer? I personally would go for option 2. Why, because the next time I knock at the door, they will have heard about my company, if they have kept the literature. I would also make sure that I have got the address, and send them a personal letter about what we do. This is marketing, and closing the deal is making the sale.

If you have a solid call of action in your sales literature, a great website, a great offer, good quality service and all the bells and whistles, you can influence the buying process before you have even met the customer face to face. This is why marketing is the DNA to all sales.

This is why marketing is so important to EVERY business, no matter how big or small. If you would like to talk to someone about marketing your business, then please feel free to call me on 07898 870 870.



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