Thursday, September 29, 2011

For a Successful Marketing Campaign, 4 Essential Tools!

By Sylvia Browder


Have you ever launched a marketing campaign yet it didn't yield the results you envisioned? Did you take the time to thoroughly research your campaign idea before executing it? Important elements to a sound campaign encompass identifying your product or service and your consumers.

The other day, I met with a client to discuss her upcoming marketing campaign. When I asked her to share her overall goals for this initiative, she looked at me bewildered and said, "I just want more sales."

Well, that's fine and dandy as we all want more sales, but to have a successful campaign, you must consider what your overall objectives are. Every successful marketing campaign begins with a plan. So, in the planning process, these four tools are essential:

  • Goals
  • Strategy
  • Time
  • Measure

Set SMART Goals
A common reason for a failed campaign is lack of commitment. Determine what your priorities are and then focus on them. Once you identify what goals you want to achieve, you need to find a way to review and measure progress. Some goals will take time to achieve, so it is important to measure your progress regularly. Try implementing SMART Goals into your planning. These are simple tools used by businesses to formulate an actionable plan for results. SMART illustrates the five characteristics of an efficient objective:

S- Specific
M- Measurable
A- Attainable
R- Realistic
T- Timely

Create a Strategy
What is the purpose of your marketing campaign? Creating a strategy involves anticipating the future outcome while making decisions in the present. Developing a strategy will help you stay on track with your goals while creating action steps to achieve them.

Make the Time
Have you considered the time it will take to manage your campaign? Time is the most common factor that needs to be incorporated in your campaign to prevent it from losing its effectiveness. So, as you plan your time, it should include the date your campaign will end.

As an example: "I want to increase widget sales by 20 percent between September and December." 


Measure your Progress
How do you determine if your marketing campaign has succeeded or not? Measuring your progress is crucial! Why? It helps in evaluating your efforts and gauging how you are managing your budget.

So, what metrics are you going to use? Here are two that I am familiar with:

  • Google Analytics gives you rich insight into your website traffic and marketing effectiveness. 
  • Social Report, a social network analytics solution, gives you rich insight into your social space and marketing effectiveness.

In conclusion, pre-planning your campaign allows you to target your market and track the results to determine your return on investment or (ROI).

Sylvia Browder is CEO of Browder Consulting Group, a virtual small business consulting firm. In her role, she helps Women in Business grow and succeed. She is also founder of National Association Women on the Rise, a virtual community for aspiring and established women entrepreneurs. She is employed as Project Director for The Women's Business Center, Inc. She has served as an online SCORE counselor since 2004. For more articles like this, visit Sylvia's website, sylviabrowder.com

Monday, September 26, 2011

Motivational Mondays- 9.26.11

Motivational quotes to inspire you!

"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, September 22, 2011

How to Succeed in Life and Business



A book, "The Leadership Challenge," was recently written that told the story of U.S. Army Major General John H. Stanford. Although Stanford flunked sixth grade, he got into college on a ROTC scholarship. He also served in Korea and Vietnam and ultimately became the superintendent of the Seattle Public Schools and took public education to a new level.

In the book, Stanford is quoted as saying:

"The secret to success [in life] is to stay in love. Staying in love gives you the fire to ignite other people, to see inside other people, to have greater desire to get things done than other people. A person who is not really in love doesn't really feel the kind of excitement that helps them get ahead and to lead others and to achieve. I don't know any other fire, any other thing in life that is more exhilarating and is more positive feeling than love is."

In other words, the secret to success is to stay in love. And to stay in love with your business so it will be more successful, here are a few things you should be doing:

  1. Select businesses and product/service lines wisely. If you're choosing a new business to begin or choosing a new product/service line to launch (and all other things are equal), select the one you're the most passionate about, the one you truly love. Starting anything is very hard work; but if you love it, you'll have that extra fire that will help you succeed. Many people choose businesses and product/service lines only from a revenue or profit potential. However, if you choose based on what you love, you can get your clients/customers to love it, too. And as they say, the money will follow.
  2. Designate your "likes" and "dislikes." To stay in love, you should be working on the parts of your business you love doing, not what you "like" doing and definitely not what you "dislike" doing. For example, if you're handling customer service problems, and you really don't like it, then stop! More than likely, you're not doing a good job at it anyway, and it's killing your energy which prevents you from performing great on the things you do love. Of course, this is easier said than done; as entrepreneurs, we need to wear many hats. However, if you fall out of love, the consequences will be terrible. So, make a list of three things you love doing and three things you don't. Then, make a genuine effort to stop doing the things you don't love doing (don't just ignore them though; find someone else who can do them). 
  3. Hire individuals you like. Of course, we all (ultimately) want the best employees, but what if that person is really annoying? I'm sure we've all had either an annoying co-worker or employee at some point, and these individuals negatively affect organizations. When you come to work daily, you want to be excited about seeing your team. And when you lose that excitement, your love of the business fades and so will your employees' love and eventually, your success.
  4. Speak with others about your business. We've all heard the saying, "The grass is greener on the other side." As an entrepreneur, you probably sometimes think that other people have it easier than you. In actuality, everybody thinks everybody else's life is easier, and your life as a business owner is likely pretty good. So, talk to others about their jobs and businesses. You'll hear many people complaining about their bosses, their clients/customers, their employees, etc. Doing this will make you see that you do have it better than you think, and that will help you stay in love with your business. 

Love is a very powerful emotion, and it gives us massive energy and allows us to fight well after when most people would have given up. And it's just what you need to be successful.

[Photo Credit; Source]

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Take Your Business to the Next Level with Expert Calls!


Throughout the month of August, WAHMs WIN held five expert calls, Virtual Village Expert Panel Calls.  Although I wasn't able to be on all of the calls, the ones I listened to were very informative, and I received many nuggets that have and will help me become a successful entrepreneur.

The experts featured on the calls (who included Antonina Greer, Pam Perry and Sheila Hawkins) contributed their knowledge to assist entrepreneurs in their success journeys. The overall topic was How to Develop Savvy in Your Business Relationships, and the sub-topics included How Your Authenticity Impacts Your Business Relationships and How Mentor Relationships Impact Your Business.

If you missed this wisdom the first time, you can get the weekly recordings for only $9.99, which is a 30 percent discount! You can also get Recordings Bundle: 6 Weeks of Wisdom from 16 Women Business Experts for just $30 (67 percent discount!!). This bundle includes several bonuses such as an individual strategy session/consultant with one of the experts from the discussion panels.

To purchase these fabulous and beneficial items, just click here. I promise, you won't be disappointed!


Monday, September 19, 2011

Motivational Mondays- 9.19.11

Motivational quotes to inspire you!


"Don't ask somebody to be on your side and you're not already there. Expect yourself to be good, bright and excellent in all you do, but if you do fail, don't beat yourself up about it. Every failure is not a defeat."

- Maya Angelou

Friday, September 16, 2011

The 3 I's of success: Personality traits every entrepreneur should possess

By Sylvia Browder


Recently, I was faced with a situation in which I hired and trusted a seemingly smart, professional and successful business woman, only to be let down drastically by her actions. What you see is really not always what you get. Though I've always been a good judge of character, I must admit, I let my guard down, which left me doing damage control.

"Reputation is the shadow. Character is the tree." Abraham Lincoln

Character is who we are even when no one is watching; it's doing the right thing! So, what attributes should one look for when hiring an Independent Contractor, partnering with other entrepreneurs or collaborating on a business project? These are 3 I's that every entrepreneur should possess.

Integrity
Do you believe integrity is important both personally and professionally? Integrity is the foundation that we all should strive to live by. It exhibits the quality of one's character! While morality is often associated with integrity, morality is what we believe while integrity is what we do with what we believe.

As an entrepreneur, integrity should be deeply rooted at inception of your business as it becomes the heart and soul of your company's culture. Ask yourself:

  1. Is my business compatible with my values?
  2. Am I sure that my success is not coming at the expense of my family, personal and professional relationships or health?
  3. Do the vision of who I strive to be and the life I want to create fit the business decision I have just made?

Answering these questions can help you make adjustments where needed.

Inspiration
"If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader." Dolly Parton

The ability to inspire people to reach great heights of success is a key ingredient of a successful entrepreneur. Inspiration enthuses and ignites greatness. When you feel inspired, it triggers emotions and feelings that enable you to live a purposeful life. I created Empower Yourself Daily Quotes to help others jumpstart their day with positive thoughts! In addition, here are two ways to inspire others:

  • Encourage: People face many difficult obstacles in life. Being supportive during tough times will enable others to rise up and overcome life's hardships.
  • Challenge: Sometimes, people are not sure of that next step to take in their lives. Holding them accountable will push them to achieve more.

Involvement
Have you ever considered the impact you would make on the lives of others by sharing your time and talent? Volunteering or mentoring is such a non-selfish way to give back! There are many ways you can reach out; find non-profit organizations in your area that you feel compelled to work with and volunteer; help your local library or hospital; or mentor youths or adults.

In conclusion, though there are many traits necessary for success in business and life, these are my top three.

Sylvia Browder is CEO of Browder Consulting Group, a virtual small business consulting firm. In her role, she helps Women in Business grow and succeed. She is also founder of National Association Women on the Rise, a virtual community for aspiring and established women entrepreneurs. She is employed as Project Director for The Women's Business Center, Inc. She has served as an online volunteer SCORE counselor since 2004.



[Photo Credit]

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dynamic Breakthrough Coaching for YOUR Business!


Are you ready to create the business you've always envisioned and transform your ideas and passion into a steadily increasing flow of eager clients and income?

If so, you're in luck! My friend and colleague, Tamyka Washington (a small business coach), is launching her brand new Dynamic Breakthrough Program on September 15th. Tamyka teaches women entrepreneurs effective strategies and skills that will attract clients and increase sales online!

At the end of her six week program, you will have a clear and focused understanding of how combining your passion, mission and purpose can provide you a rewarding and profitable business. Additionally, you will develop a mindset of success and be able to apply the skills learned to effectively plan, strategize and implement specific marketing techniques to start and grow a profitable business online.

For more information and to reserve your spot, click here.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I'm going away for a little bit...



As many of you know by now, I'm tying the knot soon. In fact, I'm tying it this weekend! That means I will be MIA until next Thursday, September 15th. I'll be replying to emails/messages starting at the end of next week, so don't think I'm ignoring you if I don't reply immediately.

I'll be back soon!




Thursday, September 1, 2011

Your Exchange Brings Your Change

On September 12, 2011, from 12-2 P.M., WAHMs WIN will be hosting its first annual networking and fundraiser event, "Your Exchange Brings Your Change: Understanding the Power of Partnering to Eliminate Weakness." The event will provide an intimate networking atmosphere and raise funds for the Atlanta chapter of the community- benefit organization.

The keynote speaker for this event is Cheryl Wood, a highly-regarded author, speaker and mom entrepreneur who empowers and equips women to take risks, overcome fears and eliminate self-imposed barriers in order to live "Fearless, Focused and Fulfilled." Additionally, she is the 2011 winner of Elevator Pitch Olympics from FraserNET Conference. Guests will also have the pleasure of hearing from a panel of women business experts from the WAHMs WIN Virtual Village. The topic will be "Converting Your Business Relationships-- How to Effectively, Consistently Turn Your Fans or Followers to Loyal Customers or Clients." The panel is the finale of a free series of expert calls WAHMs WIN has held throughout August.

The 5-star green restaurant chosen for this event is The Feed Store Restaurant, located in the historic College Park business district, near Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. This location has historical significance to WAHMs WIN because the ancestral owner was a "founding mother" of the second women's college in the U.S., Cox College, which happened to be located about a block away from The Feed Store Restaurant. Because the main goal of WAHMs WIN is to educate and empower women, this connection is very important.

The organization recommends that guests use the green MARTA public transit system as an inexpensive, low carbon footprint option for attending this event since it is just across the street from one of the main transit stations. Remember, "Green is the new black for your business budget."

WAHMs WIN would be delighted and honored to have you and your plus one be a guest for this highly empowering networking luncheon to help launch the Atlanta chapter for the WAHMs WIN community-benefit organization. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.wahmswin.org.

The purpose of WAHMsWIN.org is to help W.ork-A.t-H.ome Mom.s I.ntentionally N.etworking so that together, we win.

We know that universal wisdom says that Together We Each Achieve More.


Together, WAHMs WIN!
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