Is Your Motivation In Hibernation?

Is Your Motivation In Hibernation?

Remember all those New Year’s resolutions? You had plans to take on the world and make this year a year to remember. You were going to get tons of new customers, make a load of money (and lose a few pounds at the same time)?

But, now it’s time to actually make it happen, the resolutions have gone by out the window, reality has set in and you’ve gone a bit flat. A lot flat. In fact you just can’t be bothered.

You’re feeling like you just want to curl up in a ball rather than face another pile of paperwork or come up with a miraculous marketing plan. Right?

Motivation? You might as well be speaking Klingon!

I know, it’s tricky to keep motivated when you’re running a business, seeing to the kids, working other jobs, trying to keep on top of housework and keep everyone fed and watered. It’s even worse when the weather is rubbish,  and the New Year festivities feel like a distant memory.

Add in those jobs you really don’t want to do in the business, like writing that blog, doing tax returns, chasing payments, filing all that paperwork or coming up with some bright ideas to drum up more business and it’s no wonder you feel flat as a pancake.

But these things still need doing.

Without them the house would turn into something you see on the reality TV shows, where they have to send in a cleaning team to dig out the kitchen. They would find you in the corner of the dining room trapped under a pile of invoices, business at a standstill, in your pyjamas watching box sets and drinking coffee. However appealing that might sound right now, it’s not going to grow your business.

And you DO want to grow your business, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading business blogs, right? You WANT to snap out of perpetual PJ mode and back into business mode, so you can get the cash flowing and make your dreams come true? 

So what’s a girl to do?

Well, first of all know you are not alone. I go through this a few times a year – mainly after Christmas and after holidays or long weekends. It seems to take me forever to wind down but once I’m wound down, I take a lot of getting going again, no matter much I love my business. I have to drag myself to my desk and try to snap my brain back into work mode, even though it feels like a giant, sluggish marshmallow.

There are a few ways to tackle motivation hibernation. Different options work for me at different times so take a look and see if any of these feel appealing or even vaguely doable. I’ve used them all at different points and although it might take me a bit longer than I’d like to ‘snap’ back into work mode, I get there eventually and so will you.

1. Be kind to yourself

If your number one motivational tactic is beating yourself up because you’re not doing what you’re supposed to, maybe stop that? 

You know what it’s like when you have deadlines and you just aren’t feeling it – the more pressure you put yourself under, the less you feel like doing it and the less creative you are. Adding pressure makes it worse.

Take a step back, understand your body and brain have just had a well-earned and much-needed break and it’s going to take time to get back into the swing of things. Think of it like this – you’re restarting a cold business engine and it’s going to take time to get it warmed up again and working as well as it was before your break. So, stop being so mean to yourself and give yourself a couple of weeks to reacclimatise and fall back in love with your business. You’ll still get stuff done, probably more than you think but you’ll do it without that horrible, counterproductive stress.

2. Do the worst job first

I’m going to suggest two completely contradictory tactics now – I have used both at different times and they both work, it just depends on which feels most appealing at the time. The first is to do the worst job first.

Often the reason we can’t get back into work mode is that we have a horrible or tricky job to tackle once we get started and that immediately puts a dampener on any enthusiasm you managed to muster. It could be a tax return, stock take, filing, invoice chasing or some other job that makes you want to run away and hide in the biscuit tin.

If that feels like a huge black cloud over your business then tackle it. Now. No procrastinating, no excuses, just grab a cuppa, gather whatever tools and energy you need and do it. Once it’s done you will feel AMAZING and it’s a huge block out of the way, leaving you to do the nicer jobs you enjoy without the horrible one looming over you.

3. Do the nicest job first

If you just can’t face doing the horrible jobs first, pick something you enjoy doing in your business and do it, guilt-free. Give yourself a couple of hours or even a couple of days to do what you love (which is probably the reason you set up your business in the first place) without any of the less enjoyable stuff clouding your day.

Don’t let the mind monkeys stop you enjoying it – you will get the ‘horrible’ jobs done soon but for now, it’s time to fall back in love with your business and reconnect with the feelings you had when you started it.

Often this feels like a real treat because our time is usually taken up with business stuff we can’t avoid and don’t necessarily like. Simply spending a little time doing what we love can reinvigorate us, remind us why we do this every day and get us back into work mode in the nicest possible way.

4. Do a brain dump

Sometimes all it takes for us to unlock ‘work mode’ in our brain is to bring a bit of clarity to the situation.

Often after a break (and actually at regular intervals throughout the year) I feel that my head is full of ‘things I must do’.

It’s like when your computer gives you a ‘memory full’ message and refuses to do any more work until you have cleared things out. My brain is stuffed to bursting and I can’t see what I need to do first, or even what I need to do at all because my brain has crammed it all into one big ball of ‘THINGS YOU SHOULD BE DOING NOW, WHY ARE YOU SO RUBBISH?’.

Before I can even begin to do anything productive I need to see what I am dealing with, so I do a brain dump. That involves taking a big sheet of paper or a notebook and writing down everything that is taking up space in my brain. All the tasks. All the ideas. All the nagging doubts. All the appointments you must not forget. Everything. Keep writing until you can’t think of anything else and don’t be surprised if some weird stuff comes out too! My brain dumps include things like:

  • Must set reminder on phone for dentist appointment on Monday
  • I never have parking money. Why do I never have change in the car? I need to sort this.
  • When did I book Chloe in for a dance lesson? Need to find out
  • I must get some bulbs for the living room light, it’s doing my head in
  • Phone mum
  • Phone British Heart Foundation to get those boxes of charity stuff in dining room
  • Buy spinach
  • Get Chloe to do Latin homework

I can keep writing for ages. Those were just the little non-work bits swirling around at the top of my brain, I haven’t even started on the chunky business stuff.

Brain dumps are really useful because they achieve several things at once:

  • They help to free up your brain’s processing power so you can get past the feeling of ‘brain overload’ and see what you are dealing with.
  • They help you to feel more in control of what’s going on.
  • They help you to see what is taking up space in your brain and deal with it.

When I do a brain dump I use my 3DS system – Do, Ditch, Delegate or Schedule. You’ll often find that several things on your list can be done right now, in 2 minutes.  Others can be scheduled into your diary because they need doing, but not now and if you schedule them, you know they are dealt with for now so they don’t need to take up space in your brain. Some can be delegated, some can be crossed off altogether (I actually bought the light bulbs yesterday but for some reason they are still taking up space in my brain). If you’re struggling to get motivated, try doing a brain dump and see if it helps – it usually does for me.

5. Pick a Sticky Note

Another technique to help you break that productivity block and kick-start your motivation is the Pick a Sticky Note method – it’s great if you’re prone to procrastinating and overthinking.

Get a pad of sticky notes and write each task on your to-do list on a different sticky note (if you use erasable pens you can reuse your sticky notes many times). Then stick them all on a wall, then pick one. Don’t look at it, just close your eyes and pick one THEN DO IT. When you’ve done it, if you feel up to it, pick another one and do it. That way there is no room for overthinking, you just take pot luck and let fate decide. No swapping them out either, if this method is going to work you have to take what you get and crack on. It’s very effective and when you run out of work time, gather up those that are left until next time you have a spare hour.

6. Work on your business vision

If you can’t face ‘work’ work, then why not do some dreaming? All in the name of building your business, too! I’m talking about working on your business vision. Your business vision is where you think about where you want your business to be in 12 month, or 5 years or further into the future. It’s all about getting very clear on what success looks like to you and how you want your business and life to look in the future – if you are clear on that then you can create plans and targets to help you achieve it.

To create a business vision you can use a notebook, a sheet of paper or a Pinterest secret board. It’s even better if you can get loved ones involved in this process because what you’re going to do is dream big.

Think about what your business could help you achieve, if you really focused. Holidays? A new home? A new car? What would your family love to be able to have or experience in the next few years? There is no need to worry about the ‘how’ for now – the first step is to get those dreams down where you can see them.

Try to be really specific too – rather than saying ‘holiday’ say ‘A holiday at Disneyland, in the hotel where giraffes look through the windows and where we can afford to get those VIP queue-jump tickets’ When you think of what you want, imagine how it would be and include all the details in words or pictures that will really bring the dream to life.

Finally, and this makes it real, put a price to it. How much do you need to save for a holiday like that? How much of a deposit would you need for your dream house? By adding money/costs into the mix you can turn those into specific, meaningful targets to work towards in your business.

If that doesn’t get you motivated into work mode again, I don’t know what will!

7. Do some preparation and planning

If you’re not ready to tackle your to-do list, can you do some preparation?

  • If you can’t face writing a blog or a newsletter, can you come up with the rough topics for the next few? Can you maybe come up with titles? Even scope them out? 
  • If you can’t face your tax return, can you stick on the radio and at least get all your receipts together and sort them into date order?
  • If you can’t face a stock check, can you set up the spreadsheet on your computer or print off your check list?

Don’t underestimate the power of preparation – when it comes to doing ‘the actual job’ you will be happy you took time to prepare as it will save you time later. 

8. Go for a walk and listen to a podcast

There are some days I just can’t be bothered with work but I also don’t want to waste my precious work time (these days are usually when I’m tired or getting over a bug) so I stick on my wellies, grab my phone and headphones and take the dog out for a walk. I’ve always got a couple of podcasts downloaded and in my case I usually choose not to listen to business coaching podcasts. I prefer things like The Infinite Monkey Cage with Professor Brian Cox, or BBC Business podcasts where they tell stories of different businesses or industries around the world, or History Hit podcasts with Dan Snow.

I immerse myself for a while in something totally unrelated to my business, something I can learn from and enjoy with no pressure and get some fresh air and exercise at the same time.

If I do nothing else productive all day, I have still managed to keep my brain active and more often than not, it will spark an idea or a thought that will help my business later. That’s where the Notes app on my phone comes in handy!

If I get REALLY inspired then I stop and let Meg the dog have a run around while I use my Otter app to dictate my idea. That’s how some pages in my Awesome Marketing Planner were born.

9. Watch a motivational video

If it’s horrible weather or you can’t (or don’t want to) leave the house, get onto YouTube and look for TED talks, or whatever motivational speaker you prefer. Watch some feel-good videos, raise your mood and know you are doing a great thing for your business. Creating a positive mindset is a wonderful investment that will reap rewards far into the future.

The best thing is, you don’t have to take any action. You can watch motivational videos for the sake of it, as many as you like. No pressure, just enjoy them for what they are. If you do get inspired, you can scribble a note or two to look at later but just raising your mood is enough when you’re feeling flat and demotivated. A few days of that and you’ll be making your own motivational videos as you power through your marketing.

10. Look at your Book of Awesome

If you haven’t got a Book of Awesome, read this blog I wrote about it. In short, it’s a book where you collect all the lovely, positive, complimentary things people have said about you and your business. Your Book of Awesome is something to dig out and dip into when you’re feeling flat or sad – and especially if you’ve just had a ‘bad customer’ experience that has left you wondering why you bother and doubting your ability. Reading about the joy you have brought, the difference your business has made, the lives you have improved even in just a tiny way – it makes your heart sing and it’s good for the soul.

If you don’t have one, create one now. Treat yourself to the prettiest notebook you can find or decorate a boring one so just looking at it makes you happy. Print off lovely reviews and feedback. Write down things people have said to you.

Make it a book about all the amazing things your business has done and why you matter (you definitely, absolutely matter). And when you need to, when times are tough and you’re feeling flat, demotivated or defeated, dig out your Book of Awesome and read it. Properly read it. Think about how those people were feeling when they said or wrote those words. You’re awesome.

 

If all else fails, come into my This Girl Means Business free Facebook group and join in. Help other people if you can. Ask for help if you want. Do what makes you happy, knowing you’re among likeminded awesome business owners who totally get how you feel. You can do this.

 

3 Things To Do When You’re Feeling Stuck

3 Things To Do When You’re Feeling Stuck

Why does that happen?

One day we’re full of enthusiasm, bursting with energy and raring to go. We feel like we can take on the world!

The next day we wake up and feel, well, STUCK! Like we’ve lost the plot. We feel blank, panicky and scared. We feel overwhelmed and fed up. And most of all we can’t think what we need to do next, so we just stay where we are, in that stuck place.

The trouble is, being stuck is bad for business.

Not only does it stop you getting things done, it also plays havoc with your confidence. You get that little voice in your head telling you you’re not good enough to do this. The more you try to get unstuck, the more you panic when it doesn’t work and before you know it you’re in a full-blown crisis and feel like you will NEVER be able to make this business work.

What can we do to get UNstuck?

Well, first of all you might find that it’s nothing to do with the business.

Your being stuck might be to do with everything else APART FROM the business, but it’s the business where you feel the effects.

It’s difficult to focus on your business when you’re working full-time in another job, have a young family or elderly parents to care for. It’s REALLY hard to focus on your business when you have money worries or health worries.

It’s HARD to find the time, ANY time to spend on building our business when so many people and things need your attention.

Let’s face it, the only ‘ME’ time some of us have is after 10pm once we’ve seen to everyone else and by that time we’re too exhausted to think, let alone do something useful for our business.

If you’re anything like me you’ll often find yourself falling asleep while putting the kids to bed and then waking up an hour later feeling totally groggy & disoriented and completely unable to do anything useful for the rest of the night.

And that’s not even touching on the rest of the stuff we have to do – mums or otherwise – just to keep the house going, people and pets fed and watered and life carrying on as usual.

No wonder we’re worn out!

I know you’re amazing (you’re running a business, despite everything else you have going on in your life), but I also think you have to be realistic about your situation.

If you’re constantly trying to prove to the world that you’re an all-singing, all-dancing superstar every moment of every day, pretty soon you’re going to get tired.

And when you get tired, you get stuck.

Head of finance, social media queen, marketing guru, super saleswoman, team leader, designer, manufacturer – how are you supposed to be ALL of these things at once?

Again, this usually happens by necessity at first because finances are tight, but even as your business grows you may tell yourself ‘this is how I’ve always done things’.

The thing is, if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got.

How Can You Get Unstuck?

1. Well, you could ask for help!

It won’t kill you to put your fierce independence to one side occasionally and admit you could do with some moral support and hands on help.

And don’t be afraid to outsource, swap skills, seek a mentor, work with a coach or ask for opinions on your Facebook page – anything that will help you share the load.

[Tweet “When you’re caught up in the details of your business, you can lose sight of the big picture “]

2. You Could MAKE An Hour To MAKE A Plan

Every day, I work with incredible, capable, determined women who have forgotten to take a moment to think about their goals for the future and where they want to take their business.

If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know which direction is the right direction?

It’s like expecting your sat nav to guide you from A to B when it doesn’t know where B is! You would just drive aimlessly or end up going round in circles. When you set clear goals, you will find yourself becoming unstuck and sometimes everything else needs to wait – if you can MAKE an hour to do this, you’ll SAVE many hours down the line.

3. Get Rid Of The Mind Monkeys

Mind monkey chatter – those little voices in your head. Those disempowering, nagging, miserable beliefs that rattle about when you least expect it and certainly could do without it – ‘You’re not good enough’, ‘you’re not clever enough’, ‘you can’t charge that’, ‘when are you going to get a proper job?’– you know the ones I mean.

Mind monkeys play on your worries and insecurities and take you down when you least expect it. The thing is, mind monkeys love it when you’re feeling confused. They love it when you are floundering. They HATE plans. So guess what you’re going to do? Look to the point above and make a plan – the mind monkeys can’t come and cause panic if you know WHAT you need to do, WHEN and HOW you need to do it.

To ‘unstick’ your business, you have to challenge those monkeys – gag them, shoot them, send them on a one-way ticket into outer space. They’re not welcome here.

My best advice when you’re stuck is to be kind to yourself.

To stop beating yourself up.

You’re doing the BEST you can in your unique circumstances and sometimes it means you go slower than you would like, and sometimes it means you need to park up for a short time while you clear your path of obstacles. We all have to do it from time to time. Life doesn’t stop, the business will still be there when you come back.

Once things calm down a little you’ll feel ready to tackle the business again – not only that but the time you spend NOT focusing on your business will sometimes actually help your brain come up with loads of new ideas, so when you DO come back you’ll be raring to go. It’s never usually as bad as you think – your job is to look after yourself amidst the drama and make sure you can hit the ground running when the time is right. Look after you, awesome business girl!

 

How To (Properly) Market Your Small Business

How To (Properly) Market Your Small Business

Running a small business is challenging – not only do you have to deal with legal stuff, tax and accounting, you also have to do the thing you’re actually in business for AND market your business so the customers and the  money keep coming. It’s not easy. It’s one big, scary, confusing juggling act and it’s not for the faint hearted.

Marketing in itself can be a struggle. For starters, what IS marketing, exactly? And how is it different from sales? And when you’ve got a whole host of social media options plus advertising, blogging, networking, email marketing, speaking, SEO and more, no wonder it gets confusing.

And where are you supposed to find the TIME to do it, for pete’s sake?

OK let me help. I’m going to answer those questions and a few more besides and by the end of this blog you should feel more than capable (not to mention inspired and motivated) to market your awesome business and make more money.

What IS Marketing?

OK there are whole text books (really big ones) devoted to marketing. Loads of them. And I’ve read far too many in my student days. Let me give you one piece of advance forget what the text books tell you because it’s far too complicated for microbusiness and small businesses – we need to keep it simple.

Marketing is attracting customers. There are lots of ways of doing it and some work better than others for different types of business but it can include all those things I mentioned above from social media to speaking gigs, and a whole lot in between. These marketing activities help to get you known, stand out and be seen by potential buyers. They position you as an expert, show you’re credible and show how you can help your buyers. AND they drive sales, that is, they encourage people to buy from you. That’s what marketing does. In a nutshell.

What Marketing Should I Do?

Well that depends on you and on your business. What sort of people do you want to attract? I’ll tell you what marketing you SHOULDN’T DO and that’s the ‘marketing to everyone’ sort of marketing. That is expensive, time consuming and doesn’t work.

Let me explain. You’re a small business owner. You’re busy enough just trying to run the darned business without trying to market to everybody in the world.

First of all, not everyone is a good fit for you. Most people won’t be interested in what you sell and some will be interested but they’ll be a bad fit, and they’ll turn into BAD customers. You don’t want those.

There will be some people, though, who are a brilliant fit for your business. They will love you and love what you do. They will tell their friends about you and they’ll keep coming back and spending more. And you’ll enjoy selling to them because they are fab and the time flies when you chat to them.

They are your Super Customers.

Out of everyone, they are the most likely to buy from you. So here’s a question: Why would you try to market to everyone when most people are not a good fit and aren’t interested? Why not market to the people who are most likely to buy from you?

Why not market to your Super Customers?

Now this may go against what you’ve been taught. It will definitely go against what that bloke at the networking group said ‘what do you want to niche for, you’re doing yourself out of business…’ But the thing is, you have a clever secret. Let him go and try to market to the world, while you figure out who is most likely to buy from you and focus all your marketing effort and energy on them. It will take some time, maybe 3-6 months to really get traction and see results but once it starts to work, wowsers! You’ll start attracting amazing people. People who love you and who BUY. More than once!

You’ll start to find your marketing working and it will feel effortless (but don’t let that fool you, you still need to put the work in). You’ll spend your days working with and selling to people who think you’re fab – and they’re right. You are! You’re a marketing ninja and you’ve got a distinct advantage over most of the small business owners out there who are opting for the ‘spray and pray’ approach.

Once you get your head around the whole ‘Super Customer’ thing, you’ll find your marketing just got a whole lot easier.

When you know who your Super Customer is you:

  • Know what marketing to do, because you’re aiming it at your Super Customer (are they on FB? If not, don’t market on FB!)
  • Know what to say in your marketing (because you’re talking to your Super Customer and not trying to please / attract everyone)
  • Know where to put your marketing (where your Super Customer will see it)
  • Save money because you’re not doing ‘spray and pray’ marketing that costs a lot and doesn’t work
  • Save loads of time because you’re only doing the marketing that works for your Super Customer rather than marketing for the sake of it
  • Get much better results (remember, it will take a few month) because you’re marketing to the people who are most likely to buy from you
  • Feel awesome because you’re surround by lovely people who think you’re fab

If you want to know how to find YOUR Super Customer, here’s a blog that will help.

The last thing you need to know is, once you get your Super Customer right (and by the way this might take longer than you expect and addle your poor brain in the process but stick with it) then you need to market CONSISTENTLY and PERSISTENTLY.

Have a simple plan.

Pick 2 or 3 marketing activities AT THE MOST or you’ll find yourself feeling overwhelmed and you’ll spread yourself too thing. Do your 2-3 marketing activities regularly and don’t give up, even if you think your words aren’t getting seen or heard.

It always feels like this when you start marketing to your Super Customer, it will feel like you’ve made a mistake and you’ll be tempted to throw in the towel and go back to the ‘spray and pray’ option but please, don’t! Stick with it and in a few weeks and months you’ll start to see the results – the fruits of your labours.

A few months from now you will be attracting Super Customers who love you, value you and keep coming back. Your cashflow will be healthy and your income will be steady. You won’t be frantically marketing in a panic just to bring in business and you’ll feel like you’ve got a proper business. But you’ve got to keep going – keep marketing consistently and persistently.

And that, lovely lady, in a nutshell is how to market your small business. Good luck!

7 Hidden Sales Opportunities In Your Business Right Now

7 Hidden Sales Opportunities In Your Business Right Now

Sales are slow, money isn’t flowing, and yet I’ll bet you have potential sales sitting in your business RIGHT now, only you can’t see them yet. They are hidden – you just need to ask the right questions to unlock them and get the sales flowing.

So let’s get started and although the first thing seems really obvious, most people don’t do it.

1. What Could I Sell Right Now?

The first question I want you to ask yourself is ‘what could I sell right now? What have you got that’s made, nearly made, almost there, sitting there, not being used, old stock, old equipment, what could you sell right now?

In my business, I create products, I’ve got lots of products that are maybe a couple of years old and I haven’t sold for a while and I can turn them into self-study programs, so I can sell those right now. I could sell coaching sessions right now. I could sell strategy sessions right now. I could sell mastermind places right now. So there are things that I could sell right now.

What could you sell right now if you put your mind to it and thought about what you have, already done, that maybe just needs a tweak or a repackage or could just be sold as it is. What could be turned into money, in your business, TODAY?

2. What Could I Sell To My Existing Customers?

Have all of your customers bought everything they could from you? I’m guessing the answer is no.

If you’re sitting there thinking “I need to get some money in”, you’ve probably got potential sales right there on the table, you just need to make them happen. When was the last time you let your customers know what else you sell? How many did you follow up with lately, to check they have everything they need? And how many have probably gone out and bought stuff over the last few months that YOU could have sold them, except you didn’t tell them, so they didn’t know? Hmmm

I suspect you have people in your database who have already bought from you who just need a little nudge, an email or phone call, to say ‘did you know that we do this, I think you would really like it’. Or ‘did you know that we do this and would like a sample or a try?’ I am sure you could drum up some very quick business that way, you just have to be proactive. Even if they say no, you have still shown you are thinking of them, which is GREAT for relationship building and will keep you top of mind for next time.

3. What Can I Create, Quickly?

What are your customers and potential customers waiting for, that you don’t sell YET? You’re so busy DOING that you haven’t had time to tap into some really obvious opportunities. If you know you have people waiting for a product or service that they would buy right away, make time to create it. It doesn’t have to be a huge project – you might be able to spend a day putting a small, easy-to-create product or service together that would sell like hot cakes. You wouldn’t believe how often I’ve suggested this for my clients and when they actually get on and DO it, people BUY from them. Can you create a little add-on to a current product or service? How about a little workshop? A mentoring option? A bundle? A subscription? Don’t sweat about it – go for a quick and easy pilot project and refine it if, and when it sells.

4. What Could I Sell To New Customers?

We have looked at existing customers, but if you know there are people within your network or crowd that haven’t bought from you, it’s because you haven’t put the right thing out there, YET. Think about the people in your network, think about the people on your database, the people who’ve been quiet, the people on social media who haven’t yet bought anything from you. And the key word here is yet. What are they waiting for, that you could create quickly and sell to new customers? How could you create a ‘dip your toe in the water’ product or service? A taster? A sample? A little non-scary, small-commitment-type of thing that will let them quickly see if you are right for them? Do it!

5. What Problems Can I Solve?

What problems are there out there that your products or services solve? Have a brain dump, get a big notebook and pen and just think about what people say about what you do, what people love about your products and services, what people feedback about them, what they ask for, what questions that they ask, the reason is that they give you for buying. And then think about what you could put out there that will solve problems for your crowd.

6. What Time-Sensitive Packages Could I Put Together?

If you are trying to create money quickly is there anything you can put together quickly that has got a limited lifespan? Here’s another example, I knew that there was a need for a book for ladies who were trying to run their business with their children in the school holidays, so I very quickly wrote, edited, put together, typeset THAT BOOK, and got it on Amazon and Kindle within nine days – a book for women and it’s called SOS A Business Mums Survival Guide for the School Holidays.

That was done very quickly because it was for a window of opportunity that was the UK school holidays. It needed to be written super-fast and I just sat down and did it, because I knew if I didn’t do it I would lose that window of opportunity. So think about what you can create which is time sensitive, which is specific to something going on now and seize the moment, make the most of it.

7. What Are My Super Customers Searching For?

Your Super Customers are the people who are most likely to buy from you, those people who are a great fit for your business. Thinking about your Super Customers, what are they looking for on Google right now? What are they struggling with? What do they need this time of you? What’s going on in their life right now that they need your help with? And what can you put together for them? Whatever it is, how can you tap into it? Go!

Any time you get stuck or sales dry up, ask yourself these questions – there is always a way to get sales flowing. Asking yourself these questions will spark something in that big brain of of yours and get you fired up – it only takes one good idea to turn a business around and you are more capable of doing it. Just keep asking yourself the right questions and the sales will come!

Have You Found Your Secret Sales Stash Yet?

Have You Found Your Secret Sales Stash Yet?

 

Did you know there are sales sitting right there in your business, you’ve not found yet?

They are waiting patiently for you to do a couple of things and, once you do those things you’ll find these sales start to come in – kerching!

At the moment they are just out of your reach because you haven’t learned how to tap into them yet. But after reading this, you will!

It’s your CUSTOMERS. Not new customers. Existing customers. People who have already bought from you.

They know you, like you, trust you and they’ve seen the quality of what you sell. They are convinced of your value. They have bought from you. You’ve done the hard work. And yet you’re not helping them as much as you could. And that’s a shame!

What’s the problem that’s keeping you from helping them even more and selling more in the process?

You Assume They Know About Everything You Sell

Let me share a little home truth with you.

Just because somebody buys one or two things from you, DOES NOT MEAN they know about everything else.

There’ll be lots of clients and customers who come back, again and again and buy the same thing.

You’d think they’re aware of everything else that you sell, right?

Surely they looked through your website, or had a good look at what you’ve got on sale?

You’d think so.

But let me share something with you – there’s a really, really high chance that they don’t know even half of what else you sell.

In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they are buying products or service from other people, that they COULD be buying from you – if they knew you sell it.

mind reader ladyWhy Don’t Your Customers Know About Everything You Sell?

People are blinkered and busy. They are NOT MIND-READERS!

They usually know what they are  looking for and, once they find it they just buy it.

Unless someone is in a ‘browsing’ type of mood, they just pop into your shop or onto your website and buy what they always buy.

They probably don’t even take much notice of what else is there, they’re on autopilot.

In fact I bet you’ve often done the same, right?

So, what can you do to MAKE your customers and clients aware of everything else you have on offer? How can you snap them out of their autopilot buying habits and show them the rest of your awesome stuff?

The thing you have to remember is your customers and clients are not mind readers, you need to LET THEM KNOW about everything that you do. Don’t assume they will come looking. Don’t assume it’s on their radar. Don’t assume they will remember. Don’t assume ANYTHING otherwise you’re leaving your sales to chance and missing opportunities all over the place.

Let’s look at how you can show your lovely existing customers what you’re made of and get them to buy more next time (and every time thereafter)

scared e-newsE-newsletters Keep You Top Of Mind

The first thing that you can do is to send out a regular e-newsletter to your existing customers and clients. Use Mailchimp or some other emailing software that keeps you compliant with the SPAM laws and get writing. It needs to really add value and be worth their while to open and read it.

What could you include?

Well, every month you might showcase a different product or a different service or a different range.

If you did that you could cover 12 products or services in one year without feeling as though you are hassling or bombarding your customers. From your customer’s perspective, they will love the fact you’re showing them things they love and they’ll be surprised they weren’t aware. You’ll probably get them contacting you saying ‘I didn’t know you sold this!’

To add value you could also share ‘how to’ tips and videos, do product reviews, share offers and competitions – I’ve got some good e-newsletter tips for you in this blog and some more here.

 

social mediaSocial Media Is Great For Showcasing

If your customers follow you on social media (and if they’re not, make it really easy for them to do so) you can showcase your products and services and make them aware of everything you do without being overtly ‘salesy’. You can share photos on Facebook and ask for comments. Maybe put a couple of variations of a product or service in a Facebook post and ask people to say which is their favourite. You can have a product of the week and even run promotions on it.

Pinterest is great for showcasing visual products – set up boards for certain brands or product ranges, have ‘new stock’ boards, ‘sale’ boards and even mood boards if you sell something that you can match up with props or accessories. Think about creating boards with links to product demo videos. Have a ‘what people are saying’ board and put your testimonials in there. Invite your customers to follow you and ask them what they would love to see.

Twitter lets you share photos too and you can join in with local or industry networking hours to shout about your products of the week.

Instagram is another great way to showcase products that photograph well – use hashtags to make sure you appear in searches.

And don’t forget YouTube – it’s one of the biggest search engines after Google and you can point your customers in the direction of your YouTube channel to see product demonstrations, interviews with you, interviews with customers and suppliers, answering frequently asked questions – there are loads of great ways to use YouTube – here is one blog with some great tips and here’s another to help with videos. 

Ask your customers if they are on social media when they buy and make it really easy for them to follow you. If you have a physical shop or premises, put your social media links on business cards on the counter, pop one into each product bag, hand one out with each receipt. Put stickers on your windows and put your FB / Twitter / Pinterest addresses on your uniforms, receipts, stationery, company vehicles – you need to keep top of mind and if your customers are on social media, you need to be too.

 

storeIn Person

If you have your customers there in person or on the phone, just say ‘I’m not sure if you know we do this? Did you know that we do this?’ or say ‘Oh look, I’ve just done a little price list or a little overview of what we do in our business, can I just give you this because I’m not sure that I’ve told everybody what exactly we have to offer and you might be interested in some of the other things that we do’.

Pop a business card with your social media links and website in with their receipt.

Put some ‘bundle’ deals together – bring out things to the front of the shop that are normally not great sellers and bundle them with popular items.

Use the AMAZON effect – when they buy something, say ‘ooh lots of ladies are buying that with THIS because it really complements it’ – think about when you buy from Amazon and it says ‘people who bought that also bought this’ or ‘suggested products we think you might like’.

Ask your customers for their email address and if they’d like to hear from you once a month – you’ll be surprised how many say yes.

 

websites-icon-largeOn Your Website

Finally, make sure that your website is up to date and it has all of the products and services on there that your customers will love.

If you have a shopping cart or you have some kind of slide show or carousel feature on your front page of your website, try featuring a new product every month.

Think about having a new products or a product of the month or service of the month, brand of the month if you sell other people’s brands.

Have a plan to showcase all your products. Use the Amazon effect we talked about earlier. Show people what they are missing.

Just Imagine How Your Business Would Look

Imagine if every customer who bought from you:

  • Tried something new each time
  • Increased their order each time
  • Recommended you to their friends
  • Bought bundles instead of single products
  • Took notice of your suggestions and added to their order
  • Kept coming back and spent 10% or 20% more each time

Can you imagine how your profits would look? How much more income you’d bring in JUST by making your existing customers aware of what you do?

This isn’t scary selling; This is customer service.

You’re making life easier for your customers and helping them find other products and services that are a great fit with what they already love.

If you’re not doing this you’re seriously missing out.

I challenge you to implement just ONE THING I’ve talked about today that you’re not doing and see what happens. Then come back and tell me how you did!

Happy selling!