Thursday, July 22, 2010

Social Media: Determining Effectiveness as a Marketing Strategy

It is easy to get excited about Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and spend lots of time marketing your business online. As a business owner, if you are using these media to generate business, you need to treat them like any marketing strategy and determine their effectiveness. A strategy's effectiveness can be gauged via the return on investment (ROI). The ROI is a calculation based on how much you get back versus what you invested (time or money).

The higher the ROI, the more ‘bang for the buck.’ By focusing on higher ROI strategies, you can eliminate the lower performing strategies and increase the revenue you are earning, in effect giving yourself a raise. This will allow you to get more done for less effort and money, optimizing your marketing and making your conversion of contacts to clients more efficient. Measuring results allows to you to monitor outcomes.

Suggested metrics for social media:

Reach: Total number of fans, friends, connections, followers, etc

Growth: The number of new contacts over a period of time.

Engagement: Level of engagement and number of conversations with potential and current customers and fans. *Insights, Facebook'a built-in analytics, lets you track valuable metrics such as page views, wall posts, discussion threads, and photo views. Check out the Insights for your page by visiting your page and clicking on View Insights.

Impact on Sales Funnel: The number of visitors from Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter that convert into leads and customers. Use a marketing analytics program to track the impact on your sales funnel. Google Analytics is a FREE resource that can help track your conversions through your website.

There are a few marketing plan out there can guide you through best practices in using social media for generating business. In The Mining Social Media Gold Marketing Course, there is a 6 week marketing plan that shows you how to convert contacts to clients. Based on their Facebook marketing plan, here is an example of how to calculate your ROI.

SAMPLE CALCULATIONS
*The numbers below are JUST an example. They do not represent expected results.
Reach at Beginning: 50 contacts, no groups

Growth: 200 new personal contacts, started own business page with 200 fans.

Engagement: 30 strategic posts on business page, $10 per day of ads for 30 days.

Impact on Sales Funnel: 15 requests for more information, 4 contracts, $2000 of new revenue.

Cost (Time): Approximately 30 minutes per day times 30 days of effort = 900 minutes.

Cost ($): $300.

Revenue per time: $2000 earned / 900 minutes = $2.22 per minute = $133 per hour return on time investment (ROI).

Revenue per $: $2000 earned / $300 spent = 660% Return on money investment (ROI).

How to calculate the ROI:
  1. Decide what you will measure (number of contacts, number of requests, number of new contacts, number of new clients within x days of starting strategy).
  2. Decide over what period you will measure your results (30-60-90 days or more).
  3. Measure your metric before you start your campaign.
  4. Start your campaign.
  5. At the end of your campaign measure your results.
  6. Divide the revenue (or projected revenue) by the time cost to determine your return on time investment.
  7. Divide the revenue (or projected revenue) by the cost to determine your return on money investment.
  8. Decide if the ROI (time) and ROI (money) is acceptable compared to other marketing strategies.
Remember, if using Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for business, monitor and track your ROI. If social media is not providing an acceptable ROI, look for other methods that may suit your business better. Social media is great, but may not be the most effective strategy for your business.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

How to sell without selling: becoming a trusted advisor.

Do you find yourself trying to get clients, but they are resistant to selling???

Here is a tip to sell without selling: become a trusted adviser. This means you educate your clients about services / products that you offer, without directly selling them (with ads or promotions). As they become more educated about your industry (and you) and become more aware of their own needs; they will naturally go to you for these services. You will have become a trusted adviser, not a sales person. People like to buy, but hate to be sold.

Let me give you an example: If you were a mortgage broker and your target market was real estate agents - maybe you would set up a Facebook page dedicated to tips for helping real estate agents close more business. On that page, you would not sell mortgages, but provide helpful tips to real estate agents. One of those tips could be about how to improve the credit score of their clients. Over time, you would become a trusted adviser and when an agent was looking for a mortgage broker, they would likely think of you first. This means - you are not selling, but they are buying.

Today, the #1 product that people are buying is information. Become a source of information for your clients and you have become their trusted adviser. This will increase your number of clients and your repeat sales per client and you will be selling without selling.

To your success,

Kim

PS Got some tips that have helped you become a trusted adviser?? Please share them as a comment.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A must read for small business owners: E Myth


I first heard about this book over 5 years ago. A member of my team talked about it like it was the miracle cure for cancer. I was busy, I was already reading 5 other books and put off reading it.

Two years ago another friend (from another country) asked if I had read E Myth. Hmmm... This must be a sign.

So I got the book and WOW - I was talking about it like it was a miracle cure for cancer.

Here are 3 reasons WHY?

1. I always knew working harder was not the key - I just did not know why? E myth revealed that.

2. I knew the "super rich" much know something I did not know - E Myth revealed that.

3. I knew that had to be a system to what they and if I could find the system, I could be like them - E myth Revealed that.

If you have not read it - READ it and tell me what you think.

5 Must Have Tips to Building an Endless List of Prospects

In business, our main inventory is people. Without people we cannot sell products. When I first entered the business world, I quickly realized that having an endless list of prospects was what separated the good from the great when it came to running a business. Here are 5 must have tips on how to have an endless list of prospects that have made me millions:

Tip 1: ALWAYS have business cards with you. Now, you choose what you put on those cards. Sometimes, I would just have my name and number and let them wonder. Other times I had all the info. Here is my favorite and it offers 100 free cards: http://alturl.com/rq9n .

Tip 2: Be a GREAT listener. Be interested in THEM. Find you what they are looking for. Find out what their needs are. Find out what YOU can help them with and be a servant. You want to be like a doctor, find their pain BEFORE you prescribe a solution.

Tip 3: Whenever you meet someone - GET A CARD. This is key. I remember meeting a guy and thinking - he is not a candidate for the business and did not get his card. Then 2 months later my company ran a promotion that got me thinking - he would be a PERFECT candidate, but I did not have his contact details.

Tip 4: When you get a card - write on the card something that impresses you about the person and where you met them .This will be invaluable when you contact them later.

Tip 5: Add them to your contact management system ASAP. This slowed me down for years. I would have all these cards, but no real system or way to stay in touch. Thousands of contacts and surely millions of dollars passed me by because I could not manage my contacts. The best contact management system I found is: http://alturl.com/24nr .

By implementing these tips you can have an endless list of prospects and at a VERY low cost and a HIGH ROI -- Letting you earn more and work less.

More to come...