“Without strategy, execution is aimless. Without execution, strategy is useless.” Morris Chang
It’s Coronavirus Lock Down Week 5 In The UK As I Am Writing This …
Wow! It’s challenging this lock down stuff isn’t it?
On a personal level I’m finding most days going along at half-speed productivity wise as we attempt home schooling our 9 year old Grandson with our amazing daughter (furloughed from her job) on hand to assist.
Add to that Zoom calls & virtual team meetings, customer relations & the constant battle of trying to book the next online delivery slot for food and supplies and you have the perfect environment for a total business melt down working from home or not.
Social media seems to be a huge mix where furloughed employees coping with job uncertainty and less income mix with SME’s with their heads in their hands dealing with zero income plus an undetermined timeline to work with.
The word unprecedented doesn’t even begin to get close to the impact this virus is having on SMEs of all sizes.
Zero Cashflow For Businesses Through No Fault Of Their Own
What business owner factors in a sudden cashflow forecast of zero for several months in a row? Especially one that lands on their desk in less than 14 days and is completely outside their control?
Entrepreneurs however will accept the self-responsibility of the situation and find a way to work though it.
It’s the perfect storm for an economic disaster of epic proportions and yet at the same time there was a huge reality check this week of the dangers associated with this virus as it took one of our family members before his time.
So as the dust settles into some kind of new routine, I thought I’d share 3 things you can implement today that will help your business emerge stronger after the lock down measures ease.
They are all things you can do in small bite-size chunks over a week or two that will repay you over the weeks, months & years to come as things slowly but surely return to the new normal whatever that will look like and whenever that is.
1. Tweak The Titles, Images & SEO On Your Top Posts & Pages
Blogging is not a one time event. Revisit it, rework it, add to and whatever you do SEO it effectively!
Blogging is not something you “do” and then forget about it.
Never Do The Minimum For Blogging
If you write the minimum amount of words, include the minimum amount of content, copy & paste generic tips, don’t include eye catching branded images, fail to research keywords effectively and don’t craft catchy headlines – you should reconsider blogging as a strategy for your business!
Unless your SEO (search engine optimization) is good and the content is high quality you are unlikely to see your blogs at the top of the search engines or attracting customers to you & your business.
Now For The Good News …
The good news is that once you have taken the time to write your content, you can go back in to your posts and improve them!
This is a fantastic way to improve your blog and as hardly any small business owner does it and that puts you at a great advantage if you do.
All it takes it a little time (we have that one as a gift right now) and a little practice.
Ideas You Can Do Right Now
Here are some ideas to improve existing blog posts:-
Create new branded feature images
Write new headlines (don’t change the permalinks if the blog post has search engine traffic) if it doesn’t re-write it as a new post & add some current statistics.
Add a video.
Re-write the meta description.
Do some keyword research on the topic and add links to relevant articles you find on authority sites for key things you mention.
Add a lead magnet in the post.
Add social share buttons at the bottom of each post.
Increase the word count to 1100 words.
2. Carry Out A Full Social Media Audit
Are Your Social Media Profiles Up To Date?
One of the smartest things you can do during the lock down period is to refresh and update your social media presence by carrying out a full social media audit.
The key to successfully executing this AND keeping a template to work to now and in the future is to set up either a Trello Board or an ASANA board.
(Tip! I’m seeing Trello being used in very creative ways for sharing boards inside info-products right now, so much so I’d recommend it for both tips 2 & 3!)
Here’s What A Trello Board Might Look Like To Plan Your Audit
Social media is fast moving & ever evolving & so is your business.
So the two can quite quickly get out of date or start to look stale.
And if you use scheduling tools & focus on the content creation side of social media you may not even realise that the image you have been using isn’t even on brand anymore.
And the link you use in your profile doesn’t work or isn’t relevant to what you offer.
Work through each social media profile & bring them up to date
Start with the platforms you focus on the most and work through each one until they are all:-
Link to something relevant to your audience
3 Brilliant Ideas for your links:-
Link to a Social Page. I love Peg Fitzpatrick’s Social Page idea (I will be creating a video about this next month so stay tuned!)
2. Link to a free webinar or masterclass. Vanessa Lau has this nailed on her Instagram profile. It’s a great way to deliver value & build relationships that can effectively build your followers & business all at the same time.
3. Gemma Went uses a Quiz in her Twitter bio link which works well as a lead generation / get to know you process which positions Gemma as the great coach & mentor she is
3. Create An Editorial Calendar & Plan Your Post Lock-down Promotions
The more you plan ahead NOW the quicker your business will pick up new business as the lock down lifts
We all have to find ways of living with the Coronavirus until a vaccine is available or the virus phases out for good.
Either way business is not going to be “normal” for some time yet.
So the more you can plan, re-work the way in which you operate your business with social distancing measures in place and be ready to IMPLEMENT your promotions & offers NOW the easier you will transition out as the lock down measures start to ease.
By creating a visual Trello board of your business content & promotions over the next few months you can quickly start to map out a strategy to get leads & sales flowing even if it takes a few months yet for life to feel more “normal” again.
Look for opportunities that have presented themselves to you during these unprecedented times.
There will be a shift in what people VALUE more coming out of this period of time that smart entrepreneurs will be ready to respond to.
Right now trends are showing us that uppermost in people’s minds right now include:-
Bonus tip! Study some of the best TV adverts at the moment that meet people “where they are at” & use some of the best ideas in your marketing efforts.
The Coronavirus has affected everyone and will continue to be a challenge for all SME’s for many months to come.
It looks like some of the lock down measures will be eased in May 2020 although social distancing will still feature in our lives and business lives for some time.
The better you plan your own exit strategy, the quicker you can start easing some of the pressures created by the lock down.
SEO blog posts & top pages – IMPROVE every post or page in some way.
TRELLO boards are the perfect way to plan & organise a Social Media Audit or your own exit strategy content & promotions.
Use the time you have (and it may be far less than you think if you have children around) to think of adapting to whatever the new world looks like and go gently with your social media activity at these ultra sensitive times.
If this content help you in some way, please feel free to eave me a comment below & I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.
2020 is the time to get focused and very serious about your return on investment when it comes to social media.
It isn’t ALL about reach, likes, shares and comments.
It’s about generating leads for your business that convert into paying customers.
Measure your results by your bank balance 😉 If it’s going UP you are winning, if it isn’t you are slipping backwards or making no progress an that can feel very frustrating.
All the viral content in the world isn’t going to show up in your bank account unless you start paying attention to growing your audience.
Your Marketing Strategy For Growth
I’ve designed and developed my Free 30 Day Kick-Start Marketing Planner For 2020 to sift & sort through a never ending onslaught of tips, strategies and ideas on how to do this, that and everything else on social media but very few focus on one of the most important component parts ,, strategy.
I’ve designed the planner as a simple step-by-step plan that anyone can follow.
It not only provides you with asimple social media strategy to follow BUT it actively encourages you to build your audience and your network at the same time without getting dizzy or overwhelmed.
Business Building In 2020 Means Having A Balanced Approach To Social Media And Growing Your Audience
A frequently asked question I get asked A LOT is:-
“How do I get more organic reach with my updates on Facebook?”
It seems to be a somewhat flawed plan to think that social media is somehow a magic tool that can offer you a “free way to build a global business from your dining room table.”
It isn’t. It takes effort & a lot more work than most people think.
Organic reach on Facebook like it was in 2014 when you could reach 70,000 people with a £10 budget isn’t coming back.
There are over 2 billion Facebook users all posting regular updates of their own & viewing others doing the same.
We Are Awash With Content …
Add to that all the estimated 10 million Facebook Groups and a further 90 million Facebook Business Pages all vying for eyeballs on their content and it’s safe to say every piece of content you create is a teeny tiny boat in a massive ocean of content.
We are awash with it.
Most small business owners focus their time and attention on creating content to share (that’s darn good practise in my book and an absolute necessity for any business owner today.)
But so many small business owners, solopreneurs and entrepeneurs are reluctant to focus just as much effort, attention, time and money on growing an audience to share the content with.
Free 30 Day Kick-Start Marketing Planner
So I devised my Free 30 Day Kick-Start Marketing Planner For 2020 to address that much needed balance where posting updates to social media AND growing your network integrate together without you getting overwhelmed or in need of a lie-down in a darkened room.
2020 Is Perhaps When Social Media Comes Of Age And Small Business Owners Accept It And Embrace It
In case you hadn’t noticed, every small, medium or large business in the world is in publishing today.
CONTENT was always king but in today’s world great content is the absolute royal flush winning hand.
Social Media updates
Adverts & Promotions
Motivational or Thought Leadership Quotes
Worksheets & Checklists
Or Any Type Of Video, Audio, Text or Image based content you can think of
Are You Just Posting Or Are You Growing?
Without it in today’s social media driven economy you are going to struggle to attract attention to you, your brand, your offers & your business.
If you’ve been using social media for a while now and finding it hard to see a return on your investment, how much time and money has been spent focused on building your audience?
Or building your network?
Or building on your unique message, style or brand?
Today in a much more mature social media world you need tocalm down, stop trying to take it all in and just focus on strategies that build an audience that LOVE what you have to offer.
Focus On Growing, Building & Engaging
There are no shortages of people with problems you can solve.
Once you focus on that, every social media update you create, offer or promotion that you have running will yield far better results.
Instead of blasting your updates to a giant sea of largely un-interested people hoping you strike it lucky …
Take the time to focus on growing,building and engaging a targeted audience of like-minded people who love what you & your business offers them.
From there you’ll start to cultivate a warm, responsive audience that will be 100x more likely to become a customer of yours in the future.
Or become a brand ambassador to everyone they know looking for what you offer..
Either way it’s a win / win marketing strategy for 2020 and beyond.
Finances And First Base According To T Harv Eker…
I remember a few years back listening to T Harv Eker relay most people’s approach to finances (we’ve all been there) in a story about Baseball.
He made it hugely entertaining by saying most people ran their finances with everything coming from first base. First base being your current account.
Where do you pay your bills from? – First base
Where do you pay for your vacation from? – First base
Where do you save for a rainy day from? – First base
Where do you do your grocery shopping from? – First base!
You get the drift. 😉
Today’s First Base in Marketing? Social Media …
Where do you spend the vast majority of your marketing efforts? – Social Media
What marketing do you do on a daily basis for your business? – Social Media
Where do you intend to spend more of your marketing budget this year? – Social Media
Where is most of your time being sucked up into a vacuum of activity with least tangible results? – Social Media
Where are most of your sales coming from?…. silence.
If you want to start seeing tangible results from your social media activities create a more balanced approach by integrating your social media updates & being creative with building your audience & network at the same time (being strategic.)
A Lesson Learned From Simon Cowell
Which one of the above is the odd one out?
The answer is Justin Bieber who built his own audience on YouTube before becoming a massively successful recording artist.
ALL the others were contestants on Simon Cowell’s X Factor show or American Idol, some winners, some runners up but all became well known recording artists in their own right thanks to Simon Cowell’s magic formula.
He takes a dozen or so complete strangers and over the course of 10 weeks or so he turns at least 1 of them into a global recording artist with a following so big he can guarantee a return on his investment from the show.
He Builds An Audience First
He focuses on building an audience for the up & coming artists and seeing who the public like, respond to and follow.
So what should you focus on building in addition to being busy creating and posting content?
With my traditional business Contemporary Log Living we’ve done exactly that since 2011 and in January 2020 we’ve seen our best ever start to a New Year.
What do I attribute that to the most?
Our Facebook page audience & our email list which has been built relentlessly over the last 8 years from zero to where it is today.
It gives us the ability to run promotions to that audience whenever we choose.
The best News of all is that you do not need 100’s of 1,000’s of people to create a successful business. For most small business owners 1,000 x sales of a £200 product or 20 sales of a £1,000 product or service would be enough to create a total transformation.
In 2020 a balanced approach to social media and building your audience will yield far better results than just social media alone.
If you are looking for a better return on investment in 2020 and beyond and want to know what to focus on, put far more effort into building a targeted audience for your products & services.
You will find it almost impossible (there are always exceptions) to build your business for free. If you have a low budget focus on blogging or video as your #1 & #2 marketing strategies.
Build in a budget spend into your marketing mix. It’s never been easier to find your target audience (Hint! they are on Facebook every day!)
If you want a seriously good place to start, don’t pass up my Free 30 Day Kick-Start Marketing Planner For 2020 it’s a step-by-step pan to follow for the 30 days, then you can repeat it every 30 days until it becomes part of your every day.And it’s totally free!