Archive for month: July, 2016

Identify prospects for your business (Map vector designed by Alvaro_cabrera - Freepik.com)

How can I identify prospects for my business?

Client acquisition. I need to IDENTIFY the most likely prospects for my agency. How do I do that? 

Good question and spot on…. you are in exactly the same situation as us here at Creative Agency Secrets.
My advice to you would be
  1. Focus on Local marketing…. set up SEO/SEM to be found in the metropolitan areas where you ALREADY have clients
  2. Testimonials – work these hard on Google My Business and any other relevant marketplaces
  3. Write blog posts to appeal to industry segments who could be clients e.g. I wrote this blog Top Tips for Marketing Tradesmen and got an enquiry from Vancouver, CA.
So that’s a direct answer to your question which you should be able to execute yourselves.
If you would like to buy coaching advice with more ideas for you to run as tactical marketing, we charge by the hour. I recommend having a conference call for 30 minutes every 2 weeks.

Further reading on Local Marketing tactics

Social Media Conference 2016

Get early bird tickets for the Social Media Conference 2016

Do you want to learn about Social Media to CONNECT, ENGAGE AND GROW?

Then join fellow Business Owners, Social Media peeps and other amazing people who have already registered for the Social Media Conference 2016.

Accelerate your learning of:

+ Social Media Strategy
+ Developing content that will rock your Brand
+ Using live video to project your presence
+ Networking and building online communities
+ Using Google apps to grow your business
+ Using social media to Sell to an International Market like China and the USA
+ How to sell to the new generation of Millennials
+ Combining Webinars and social media for added sales results

With table topics on:

+ Snapchat
+ Instagram
+ Facebook Business
+ Facebook Advertising
+ LinkedIn
+ Outsourcing
+ Pinterest
+ Blogging
+ Podcasting
+ YouTube
+ Facebook Live
+ and much more

If you want to grow your Business using Social Media then this is the place to be.

The Speakers

  • Amanda Jordan from Google
  • Tom Walter form Tumblr flying in from Australia
  • Robert C Stern flying in from the USA and known as the King of Live Video
  • Pauline Stockhausen - Speaker at the Social Media Marketing World in San Diego
  • Natalie Cutler Welsh and Wanita Z Fourie - bringing fabulous information from the Social Media Marketing World in San Diego. Both have been on TV, radio and newspapers
  • Andrew Baird – Digital Marketing and Business Growth Guru
  • Simon Young - creating magic in International Markets.

Networking

Fabulous opportunities to network. People have made significant business connections during the conference and friendships which extend beyond professional contexts.

Audience

Solopreneurs, small and medium size business owners, and people working in social media roles either within corporates or externally, community managers, bloggers, podcasters and anyone wanting to expand their knowledge and understanding of social media.

EARLY BIRD SALES END JULY 31. Book your ticket today for $560.00 which includes GST, full buffet style lunch for both days, refreshments, access to recordings of the conference speakers, prizes and much more.

Because the audience is geared towards the small/medium size business, payment plans are available. You can see the selection of plans here.

There's a large contingent of International Business Owners booking and people from all over New Zealand. The seating is limited and is selling fast. Don't miss out.

Mystery, conspiracy or just plain busy?

I wrote the headline to a prospect who wasn’t returning my calls.

The goal was to provoke a response – I also left phone messages…several.

When you have new business pipeline deals to close, remember this one thing.

The client does not owe you the business but s/he does owe you an answer.

There are 3 possible answers – Yes, No and Maybe.

Go gettem!

Pokémon GO marketing opportunities

How Pokémon GO is influencing marketing for local business

When a business is struggling to acquire new clients or increase profits, creativity and innovation are the best tools to create a new reality. More accurately, in Nintendo’s case, an augmented reality.

On July 6th, the videogame giant launched Pokémon GO and took the lead of the download rankings on both iPhone’s App Store and Google Play by storm. Just a few days after its initial release in the US they added UK, Australia and New Zealand. Thanks to this bold move, Nintendo’s shares rose 56% in a week, setting Nintendo’s market value at unbelievable 34 billion dollars. Nintendo is also generating direct revenue by in-game microtransactions and will include adverts shortly.

What is Pokémon GO?

If you don’t know what Pokémon GO is, let me explain it while you defrost from the cryogenics: it’s a free-to-play location-based mobile game where you can capture fantasy monsters and train them to challenge other players to a weirdly cute pit fight. Using augmented reality (mixing real-world and virtual elements) with the assistance of your smartphone’s GPS and camera, the player searches for creatures while actually walking around the local streets. He can then snatch it with a PokéBall, a special contraption built to hold these monsters.

Pokémon GO screen on smartphone

Even though Nintendo is a “lovemark”, thanks to classic games like Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda, the console war wasn’t gentle on the business for the past years. With the Japanese company losing a huge market share to Sony Playstation and Microsoft Xbox, many predicted that Nintendo was in a descending curve.

Buddy up and benefit

Of course it’s hard to create such a splash like Nintendo did with Pokemón GO, but just because you didn’t create the wave doesn’t mean you can’t surf it for a while. Several businesses are experiencing an increase in sales thanks to the extra foot traffic around their shops, located close to PokéStops. A feature in the game, PokéStops are real locations in cities where players can collect rare Pokémons and items to improve their Pokémon GO accounts. PROTIP: You can request a PokéStop at your business location by filling this form. PROTIP 2: If your shop is already close to one of those sweet spots, you can buy an in-game item (remember the microtransactions I mentioned?) called “Lure Module” to attract lots of Pokémons to your location (and people eager to catch ’em all).

Pokémon GO sign outside a local shop

Sign outside a shop invites players to enter and play

But why rely on pure luck and sit on your bum waiting? Brands can also be more proactive, searching for the greatest Pokémon GO hotspots and give potential customers the opportunity to engage directly. Ads, brand ambassadors, promotional activities, you name it. Some quick thinkers are already making money by offering car rides to players in what seems to be the laziest safari hunt ever.

Now it’s up to you. Is your business going to take advantage of this massive opportunity? And what can you do to transform your business and be the next Pokémon GO?

marketing tactic blows away the competition

Devastating marketing tactic blows away the competition

Every marketer dreams of being able to help their clients achieve an unassailable advantage over their competition. Kinda like Asterix and Obelix the ‘indomitable Gauls’ against the Roman Empire.
Indomitable Gauls make Romans wary

Indomitable Gauls make Romans wary

A Killer App for Professional Services Marketing

I dream of finding a marketing tool or service which will knock my opposition’s pitch out of the ballpark.  Today I think I have seen one.
The commercially savvy partners at Simmonds Stewart IP lawyers have provided FREE a giant set of legal templates for download.
I’m very impressed with them giving away templated legal documentation as part of their brand building.  They caveat appropriately about the use of these, but for startups, it certainly gives gigantic brand building opportunity and of course allows the prospective client to quickly bookmark their favourite lawyers’ website for future reference.
Is there an equivalent which could make your professional services business stand out in the same way? This could be a devastating marketing death-blow (Vulcan death grip?) for competitors.
Just thoughts….
YouTube accounts merge

Help! My YouTube Accounts Won’t Merge!

YouTube-logo-full_colorOne of our clients has recently taken to creating videos to showcase their products on the company website. This of course includes uploading the videos to their new YouTube account to help promote the company and the products they are selling. In doing so, they noticed the previous owner of the company had created a YouTube account with a similar name (a variation of the company name). With a decent chunk of views having stacked up on the old channel, our client wanted to know if it was possible to bring the two accounts together, since, they were essentially the same business anyway.

There were a few complications at this point: our client had contacted the previous owner of the company about getting the videos from the old channel. Unfortunately, the previous owner had not used the account for quite some time. He didn’t know what the password was and having since sold the business, his email address had been deleted, leaving his YouTube account hanging in a state of limbo, unable to be logged in and edited for future access.

As it turns out, not being able to access the account doesn’t affect the outcome – YouTube simply do not allow accounts to be merged for any reason. That’s right, if you have millions of views locked away in an account you can no longer access, too bad. They’re lost!

youtube-support-merge-accountsIf you were able get in to the account to grab the videos, the only way to get all of the videos on to the same account is by logging in, downloading the videos, and re-uploading them on the new channel. This resets the view count back to zero, erasing any clout you may have built up on the website with the older account.

Thankfully the videos in question were of lower quality, looked incredibly dated and the views weren’t substantial enough to cause any serious headaches.

The End Result?

Continue adding high quality content to the new channel, and ignore the old one.

A frustrating outcome, but a valuable lesson learned along the way.

How can you avoid YouTube account complications?

If you want to migrate videos from one channel to another, ensure you have the video file itself is saved somewhere other than YouTube, set the channel up right the first time, so that you do not need to create a second one and use an email address that is unlikely to expire (hint: Gmail is YouTube’s best friend). With these points in mind, you should be able to rescue any valuable content, but sadly you will have to forget about bringing them together and leveraging the success of the old videos to promote the new ones.

A frustration we must all  live with unless YouTube suddenly change their account settings. (Sigh).

Conference wrap up

The BEST conference wrap-ups engage

Just been to a conference and got sent the self-congratulatory showreel wrap up of vox-pops from speakers and attendees.  2 minutes of my life wasted.

Take a contrast for Conferenz and Spark’s CIO summit – a slide deck which has real insights and learnings which I can take away as a non-attendee.

The only thing they’re missing is a sign-up form to encourage me to ask for more information and an invite for next year’s event……

To be fair, they had a show reel too…. so not yet a perfect performance!

testimonials table example

Rocking Testimonials for your brand profile 

Testimonials are self-evidently a great way to win new clients and grow your business profile.  If you want to consider adding them to your tactical marketing armoury, there are some prior considerations to resolve.

  1. Does your business get testimonials spontaneously?
  2. Have you got any existing testimonials?

If you aren’t a long-established business, then it will be more difficult to encourage spontaneous outpourings of delight and joy. 

Never fear, we’ve got a plan for you.

What’s already in the can?

Start with any existing documented positive feedback that you or your client can find. And plan

a page on your domain where you can drop in all the quotes from clients.

Make it easy to find e.g. www.yourdomain.co.nz/testimonials

Make the most of the page so the viewer finds it a helpful resource, not a chore.  Lay out the page so the most recent testimonial is at the top and the reader scrolls down to see others.  If there are obvious different services or products which have received reviews, clearly separate them too.  A series of embedded tabs can be a neat solution here.

testimonials table example

Tabbed testimonials example

Starting from zero

A different opportunity exists for businesses without any rave reviews.  You may feel it’s hard to ask for favours, to ask for sales or to ask for testimonials.  Let us help you make it easy.

Business “workflows” are a trendy catchphrase that is a way of describing ‘how-we-do-things-round-here’. Any marketing activity which you do more than once deserves a workflow process.  The reason is that it becomes part of normal business life and is easier to reproduce if you do it frequently.

Think about how you are going to set up the business process to get new testimonials regularly from clients and customers.

Here’s ours. 

Our marketing meeting has “Testimonials” as an agenda item.  We review a list of recent clients and pick a couple to approach.  The lead person who works on the client phones up and asks (using a pre-agreed script) if we can have a testimonial.  Further, we ask for it in three places – spoken, on LinkedIn and on Google.  The spoken one we write down as we chat and then send back to the client for approval. 

What’s so easy about this is that the client doesn’t have to actually write anything – they just talk.  Most people find that easier. 

Then we upload the testimonial or ask the client to do it on social pages.  We also link back to the client’s website (like we do on the Creative Agency Secrets Testimonials page).  It’s nice to give them back some strong SEO link juice.

Task completed! 

Testimonials add to your SEO

Ask for testimonials on your Google My Business page.  Note, you have to have a gmail address in order to create these so it can be a challenge for some clients if they have to create an account.  The great output from this is that your testimonials are visible in public search (alongside the search map) and when you have over 5 published, you get a star rating too.  That makes you stand out even more from competitors.

Get more mileage from each testimonial

Remember I suggested you get clients to ‘just talk’ and you write the testimonial?  Well that chatting will almost certainly contain a lot of information.  Take all your testimonials and copywrite a long and a short “sound bite” version of each.  Put the short version on the website testimonials page.  Copy the long version of each to a blog post – and link to it from the short version on the testimonials page.  Creating on-site links is good (reduces bounce rate) and also helps show an expanded authentic “customer voice” to each one.

Gamification of testimonials

Inspired by Gabriel McIntyre’s “Getting Paid Faster with the Invoice Challenge”, we set about adapting it to suit our need for client testimonials.  [Seriously, watch the video – it’s genius.]

Here’s the case study of the campaign we ran to get testimonials and support a good cause.

Now, where else can you get and share testimonials? We know they’re on Linked In, Facebook, Neighbourly (NZ local media), Yelp, Finda, Localist….. There are heaps of places – but don’t try to game the system.  Just pick the site(s) you know your clients and prospects use. 

Over to you to share your favourites.

This article was first written for publication in Marketing Online Magazine 

B2B Marketing Validation (Green Light by Alachua County)

How to market validate a B2B startup

What are the best ways to validate a B2B idea without spending a lot on product development first?

I currently run a B2C online service. I’m looking to pivot to B2B as a way of growing our business.

Creative Agency Secrets are very practical and tactical marketers so in this answer we will give you a series of steps to run through. You will need to run through them all several times – for example, if you do 1,2,3 and it’s not working, go back to 1 and start again, improving each time.

You will need to be very self-critical in order to improve and if you have not got experience in B2B, we strongly recommend you find a mentor or coach who can be objective and help shortcut the number of iterations.

  1. First – write out the revised offer as it would apply to a B2B situation. Make this a one-page print and pdf brochure.
  2. Second – approach people you already know and who could buy the service and ask them to appraise the document and give you honest feedback. You can find these people on Linked In or via the local chamber of commerce. Get the feedback face to face if possible and / or by phone. DO NOT use email. You want to be there in person to ask supplementary questions such as “why did you say that?” to clarify your understanding.
  3. Third – try to push a sale or two from one of your market testing interviews. Be prepared to offer a money back guarantee or a discount with the option to name them as a client as the quid-pro-quo.
  4. Fourth – You should now have a sense of which TYPE of B2B firm could buy the service. So go and buy a mailing list of similar businesses in your local area. Approach them all and repeat – raising the price, reducing the guarantee as you get more focused onto your sweet spot.
  5. Fifth – as you approach more, try to refine the offer and price if sales are not forthcoming. This will allow adaptation to refine the offer to suit the market. And also gradually withdraw from the face to face and phone and pull back to web (low cost) sales. You may still need telephone follow-up. Experiment with having a colleague do this calling rather than yourself as you further move to lower cost marketing tools.
  6. Sixth – re-invest any profits into improving the marketing method and collateral.

That should give you a methodology. Now you will need very strong copywriting, CRM and sales skills. Buy or hire these for your support team.

Good luck and happy to help further.