If you run a business and you do not employ a CFO chief financial officer may I recommend that you examine why not?
Karen Tobeck, CFO
I have spent two years working with Karen Tobeck and value she brings far surpasses the fee I pay.
Anybody who runs a business has three skills they need, delivering the product or service, sales and finance. Few people can do two of these. Most people can do one. Nobody can do three. This means is you must identify what you enjoy doing for your business and the one area where you need another advisor.
For me, it is finance.
Karen provides a monthly check-in with me and bi-monthly business plan goal-setting and results alignment. The key to our successful partnership is that she asks the right questions and helps me to focus with calm objectivity and external focus.
Members of my mastermind group have also hired her from their businesses. It does not matter if you already have an accountant or a bookkeeper on board. I have both and neither service is provided by Monteck Carter, Karen’s firm.
If I have challenged you today please go and look at her profile and get in touch if you would like an introductory short chat.
This November, we’ve got another breakfast seminar happening! We will be covering 3 ways to change your business thinking and actions for 2018 success.
Has your business reached a standstill even with new business strategies and tactics implemented?
Perhaps it is time to renew your thinking with us! Getting your thinking right is the key to developing the right business strategy and tactics. Digital marketing is one of the most effective tools to utilise when unlocking business growth and boosting brand awareness. To help you better understand how incorporating digital marketing and the right business strategy can unlock secrets that underpin success, we have this insightful breakfast seminar lined up for you.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Abigail Mokhttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgAbigail Mok2017-11-10 16:16:122017-11-10 16:16:123 Ways to Change Your Business Thinking & Actions for 2018 Success
When it comes to a marketing report, you may dread the idea of seeing pie charts, bar graphs and numbers floating around. That’s not to mention the accompanying dry, boring analysis of these results, written in what looks to be a different language.
If you think this, you’re so very wrong.
Recently, I wrote up a competitor strategy analysis for a client, Living Goodness. The results took no longer than 30 minutes, there were no graphs, and the report reads just over a page long!
Read on to find out exactly how I accomplished this – it’s super simple, I promise.
Seriously, this is 97% of my report – short and simple!
#1. Find your competitor
If you’re running a business and have no idea who your competitors are, you need to remedy this quickly.
Open up your internet browser in incognito mode and Google search a few keywords on what your business is about. Why incognito? Well, the search results will be personalised to your search history so you want to find a competitor that is worth analysing.
Living Goodness sells sauerkraut, so I typed into Google, “sauerkraut nz”. Google has been working on improving localised searching since around 2015. While obvious searches such as “Italian food” will bring up local restaurants, I needed to localise Living Goodness keywords so that Google knows I want to buy this product from a local store, as opposed to just needing a sauerkraut recipe.
Living Goodness ranks on the front page for “sauerkraut nz” (yay!) but so does a competitor. This will be the target of my strategy analysis.
Third place on the front page of Google! Yay Living Goodness!
In a new document for notes, I made three subheadings:
You’ll need to adapt these to suit the media platforms of your client.
From the competitor’s website, I can see all their social media buttons on the top right. This is the first difference I note. Living Goodness’ social buttons are in the footer of every page, but that requires scrolling down to see. Placing additional social links somewhere on the homepage where they will be visible to visitors is the first thing I make note of in a section called “suggestions”.
There’s not much above the fold on the Living Goodness website…
I embark on a journey across the competitor’s website, making note of what they have and what Living Goodness don’t have on their website.
Along the way, I kept asking, “why?” For example, the competitor lists recent recipes on a sidebar on their landing pages. Why is this? Well, as a mere consumer searching for sauerkraut products, I can see that it will prompt me to head to the recipes page, especially if there’s a delicious concoction that catches my eye.
A sidebar can easily be installed into websites as an automated widget – this means any new recipes uploaded will reflect in this sidebar without additional action, thus providing fresh content for each time I visit their website.
#3. Social media
Next, I compared the social media platforms of Living Goodness with their competitor. I pulled up their Facebook and Instagram pages, and scrolled through like a scorned ex-girlfriend.
How often did they post? What sort of content were they posting? Did they do something different on their social media pages that Living Goodness didn’t do?
Who had more followers? Why and how? These were all very important questions that I needed to ask.
I also compared the hashtag activity because everyone knows that behind every successful Insta-famous account is a strong hashtag game (also pretty photos, of course). As this competitor sold products that were pretty similar to ours, I derived a list of hashtags that our client doesn’t use but should do.
Living Goodness’ products are very visually appealing, so their Instagram needs to reflect that.
Of course, I didn’t want Living Goodness to copy their competitor post for post. This strategy was merely to boost their digital presence, just based on my observations of their competitor.
One important thing I had to keep in mind at all times was objectivity. I had to see Living Goodness’ competitor from the eyes of a hungry 20-something-year-old who just wanted buy sauerkraut.
This allowed me to cruise through their website and social media platforms from a fresh perspective. What would I first notice if I wanted to buy some of their products? What would annoy me if I were trying to see their stockists? If I needed to read reviews of their products, was it easily accessible?
With this frame of mind, I also turned my attention to Living Goodness’ own platforms to see what needed to be changed.
From all this, I wrote out a brief but very useful competitor strategy, using clear subheadings and bullet points. Easy to write, easy to read!
I all but stalked the social pages of Living Goodness. As you can see, this is a proven and justified technique.
#5. Client meeting
I scheduled a meeting with the lovely Fiona from Living Goodness and ran through this report with her. It was important that she took the same journey I did, so in a few cases, I got her to open up the social media platforms to see exactly what I was referencing.
Next time I conduct a competitor analysis, I could include screenshots to highlight my points. As it was, Living Goodness only have one major competitor, and as I had explained my strategy clearly, it wasn’t just another boring report to be tossed aside.
When it comes to working for a client, it can be too easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. This report showed that we like to keep an eye on the industry to boost the presence of Living Goodness.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Untitled.jpeg598977Tabhitha Tanghttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgTabhitha Tang2017-11-08 15:41:352017-11-20 09:58:46How to do a super simple competitor strategy analysis
Check out these as a starting point for your own individual needs. And please use the comments to add others to the list.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2017-09-27 10:34:492017-10-06 09:44:42Youth Entrepreneur Organisations in New Zealand
A question I answered in Quora forum: “What’s the best entrepreneurship or business course – it can be free or paid”.
The best course of action is to go apprentice yourself to an entrepreneur you respect and learn by working with/for them. I suggest doing this before or at the same time as starting your own business. Experience is worth a load more than book-learning from theoreticians.
I do not recommend paying $$$ for a university course UNLESS it is part time and closely aligned with working on a business you are currently running. Then you get to put into practice what you are being taught immediately.
It takes 6 months and is 1 day per month with one-to-one coaching sessions in between formal classroom sessions. I recommend you ask them if you can join it virtually – the next course starts October 2016. It made a gigantic change to my business and taught me a lot about the parts of business entrepreneurship that I didn’t know (and the things I didn’t realise I needed to know!).
Shortcomings of book learning entrepreneurs
I find that any book, magazine or podcast that gives advice is helpful – but only up to a point. The authors never, NEVER talk in full detail about their mistakes, their mis-directions, bad decisions and failures. They may reference them, but you will not get the full picture.
The value is in experiencing these situations and learning from them.
If I were to tell you in public about experiences I’ve had like a bullying client, a supplier who stole from us, a bad person we hired etc you would begin to get more of an idea. But it would be unprofessional to write these things in public and I may get sued. But it is the EXPERIENCE of these situations that helps you to grow as a business person and entrepreneur.
My personal solutions to the need for experience and a fully rounded business education is on-the-job learning (reading / podcasts / business books / mentor advice) supplemented by:
Mastermind Group of business owners – we meet monthly face to face and share / seek advice in a trusted, confidential roundtable. [We have a vacancy for 2 people to join our Auckland group – please ask]
What is your advice on how to learn entrepreneurship?
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/business-course.jpg341845Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2016-08-25 15:03:242016-08-25 15:05:51What's the best entrepreneurship / business course?
Growth Hacking is a new phrase meaning to aggressively make a step-change in business success. It’s not just a cute phrase, there are specific techniques which can make significant improvements to website success.
You define success and we’ll teach you how to make it happen.
What is your #1 marketing and sales problem?
Get the answers about how you can growth hack your web success with USA experts Dan Morris and Rachel Martin during May 2016.
Face to face consult or small group workshops.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your #1 marketing and sales problem.
Rachel Martin website GrowthHacking expert
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Learn-How-to-Growth-Hack-your-Website-in-May-B.jpg321845Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2016-04-14 16:30:012016-04-14 16:49:58Learn How to Growth Hack your Website in May
Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of attending the 2016 Asia/Pacific Podcasting Conference, held here in Auckland. It was a fantastic two day event that showcased a number of talented speakers and presented some interesting ideas towards the future of podcasts.
Is there substantial value to be gained from adding a podcast to your marketing mix?
I would argue yes, absolutely. Let me explain why…
1 – It’s going to be huge!
Podcasting is currently experiencing massive amounts of growth around the world. There are over 1 billion subscriptions to over 250,000 podcasts right now. With technology constantly improving, it is becoming ever more popular among the digital savvy.
2 – But, it isn’t as common as blogging… yet.
Which is a good thing. As more people start podcasting, competition increases and therefore, so does the overall quality of podcasts. Can you afford to wait until your competitors are experts before you join the race? As an early adopter, you have free reign to influence this goldmine of a marketplace as you like! Being seen as original and a pioneer can do wonders for your brand’s credibility.
3 – It is incredibly easy to do!
Sure, you have to feel comfortable on a microphone and possibly a camera too, projecting yourself to what could be… millions of people! But you could record your podcast from your bed if you wanted, never having to see these people hanging on your every word, which should help alleviate some of those nerves!
Worried that you don’t have anything to talk about, or don’t know enough about a subject to be an ‘authority’ on it? Fear not! Some of the greatest podcasters out there started out not knowing what they were talking about, but they did it anyway because THEY wanted to learn. In the process, they helped educate their audience and became known as the authorities in their chosen topic!
4 – You need but a few resources to get started.
Actually, all you really need is; an idea, a passion for that idea, a webcam/microphone/laptop/smartphone, maybe a co-host or guest and you’re basically away! It couldn’t be simpler. With ever-improving technological advancements, it’s getting quicker and easier to publish your content online without the assistance of a film crew or recording studio.
This also makes it incredibly time-efficient to produce a decent show as well! If you know what you’ll be talking about and a rough idea how to use the equipment, you can put together a clean, engaging show in a few hours! Obviously, this is dependent on how much editing and fine tuning you may need. You can be sure though, with practice, that time will get shorter and shorter as you perfect your craft!
5 – People engage in it.
Who has time to read lengthy blog articles anymore? Well, still a lot of people. But the point is, a podcast, if done right, will entertain you in a way that words on a page cannot. We lose so much emotion and sentiment in text, but those elements are carefully preserved when you listen to two people passionately discussing a topic.
Podcasting also allows for direct contact with your community/audience. Who wouldn’t become a raving fan of your show if you were personally shouting out to them? The very nature of a podcast immediately makes the listener/viewer feel like a part of your conversation and therefore, more likely to engage with your brand.
Podcasts should also be fun!
Yes, it may be difficult to make something like tax accounting sound fun, but at least it gives you a stage and a spotlight to express your personality or your brand’s character. This alone may be enough to sway any potential customers from a competitor and into your corner.
6 – Podcasts feel genuine.
Podcasts are typically independent of any large branding agencies and thus are ‘uncorrupted’ by the guise of corporate advertising. That’s not to say they are all without their own agendas. However, people seem to respond better to marketing sales pitches when they are delivered through a conversation, instead of being forced upon us by advertising agencies. This creates a unique environment for you to promote and sell your product/services without feeling like an infomercial.
7 – Versatility.
Podcasts can be enjoyed in places where reading a blog cannot! Your commute to and from work, while you sweat out the kilometres on the treadmill at the gym, while you walk your dog, cook dinner, sit in the bath or simply drown out the distractions of your surroundings.
Are you ready to start podcasting yet?
As businesses look for new platforms to compete for and connect with their customers, podcasting is sure to experience a major growth spurt as marketers seek to capitalise in the near future. In an industry driven by building ‘community’ and offering tailored experiences for their customers, podcasting offers both one of the most engaging ways of connecting and creates the perfect platform to deliver incredibly high-value content.
Do you know what their interests are, what they want and need? Sure, we’d like to think it’s all about us and our brand. But there are strategies to reach your audience in a way that will get them engaged in you and your brand that goes beyond the surface of what you think they want from you. There are tried and true ways for you to know your audience better.
What’s your common denominator?
Find out what you have in common with your audience so you can be the brand that they trust. Engage them to keep them coming back to you. If you’re a marketing communication manager, in public relations, an agency marketer or have done the Audience Industries Sequoia curriculum, you should understand what to do, how and when you need to to make sure your audience comes back to you… every time.
Get to know your audience better with Audience Industries Circles
Audience Industries is coming to a town near you in May and are bringing Circles with them. Really good news for you. The course is broken up into 7 modules that will help you to really get to know your audience. Audience Industries wants to show you how to bring your audience to you, over and over again. Keep them coming back by speaking their language, learning their paths and optimize your ads to deliver maximum value for your site. Because we know, it’s all about the money.
Here’s what’s in store for you if you sign up for Circles:
Module 1: Learn what your audience has in common with you
Module 2: Be the brand/business that your audience trusts
Module 3: Find out what your audience wants and needs
Module 4: Break down the elements of compelling stories and apply them to YOUR story
Module 5: Understand what makes your audience take actions on your site and use the information for good
Module 6: Get the strategies that create likes, clicks, shares… real engagement on your social media channels
Module 7: What you should know before you optimize your ads
Sound like something your business needs?
We thought it might. That’s why founders Dan Morris and Rachel Martin are bringing Audience Industries to New Zealand for the second time. The Circles curriculum is coming to these big NZ cities this May, so book your tickets now while there’s still time:
It’s not just the Circles curriculum that’s coming to town.
If you think the Circles curriculum is good… you’re right! But Audience Industries has 3 other curricula that we think you should take a look at, too, to help you grow your business in an online world. Read more about the Audience Industries NZ Tourfrom Creative Agency Secrets to see just what else you can learn from Dan and Rachel. Don’t waste any more time wondering how to grow you business revenue online! Book your tickets for a city near you now.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Know-your-audience-better-with-Audience-Industries-Circles.jpg321845Laura Hollarhttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgLaura Hollar2016-04-05 10:00:002016-04-06 12:25:35Know your audience better with Audience Industries Circles
Are you new to digital communications, work in marketing or as a web admin? Good. You’ll want to hear this:
Your online activities for your business can significantly monetize your audience!
Maybe you knew this already but, if you’re here, you may need a little help getting to that point. Lucky you, we have just the thing! The Audience Industries NZ tour is coming to town!
How Audience Industries Will Help You Drive Revenue Online
The Audience Industries program is made up of 4 separate curricula, which together cover everything you need to know about increasing your online profitability.
Let’s focus on the most widely applicable course, the Sequoia curriculum. With 6 modules and 4-8 hours of your time, learn how to turn around your online efforts in simple ways that will make a huge difference to your business.
Learn your audience’s ladder of value, where they came from and when they’ll be ready for you.
Keep the audience coming back for more with pro marketing.
Build the ultimate audience with every word you write.
Stand out so your audience can find you.
Find out how to get your audience from each of your social media platforms to you.
Don’t sell yourself short. Your knowledge is worth a lot more. Start to understand pricing, format and what to expect in the future.
I thought you might be. When it comes to your business, what you’ll take away from the Sequoia course will be invaluable. There’s no question.
Dan Morris and Rachel Martin
Founders of Audience Industries and your online marketing gurus for the tour, will be arriving on our shores in May to share their marketing expertise with us. Are you in or near Auckland, Dunedin, or Wellington? If so, read more about the tour and book your spot now while the going is still good!
If you want to improve your online revenue for your business, don’t let this tour pass you up. Book now and take the first step towards maximising the potential of your website.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Audience-Industries-Will-Help-You-Drive-Revenue-Online-Blog.jpg321845Laura Hollarhttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgLaura Hollar2016-04-04 10:00:002016-04-01 16:20:00Audience Industries Will Help You Drive Revenue Online