How to Change Your Bad Marketing Habits for Good

It’s time to be honest! Are you really spending the time you need to each day on growing your business? Or are you getting distracted with time wasters like surfing the Internet, hanging out on Facebook or other busy work that isn’t leading to profits?

If your time management and productivity habits are holding you back, it will be impossible to grow your business. That’s why it’s so important to start building good habits that support your marketing needs and help you reach your goals. I know what it’s like to try to overhaul your life (and habits!) in one fell swoop. It doesn’t work so well! But what ALWAYS works is taking one step at a time. Here’s where you start:

  1. Commit to doing things differently – Nothing in your business will change unless you start changing the way you think about your business. Own your past mistakes and don’t make excuses about them. Commit to yourself right now that you’ll be changing your habits. Focus on all the benefits that you’ll achieve once you make those changes – more clients, more income and more freedom. Make the decision to take the first step. TODAY!
  2. Get organized – Lack of organization can cost you serious amounts of time, and your time as a business owner is precious. Dedicate yourself to getting more organized so you can hit the ground running. Start with organizing your marketing efforts into a plan. If the thought of planning 6 months or a year seems overwhelming, that’s OK. Start with this week! Outline what you want to accomplish and then break down those goals into easy to implement action steps.
  3. Face the facts about how you’re spending your time – We all receive the gift of 24 hours each day. Of those 24 hours, let’s say that 8 hours are dedicated to work and building your business. That’s all you’ve got each day – so how are you going to spend it? Will you focus ONLY on your priority tasks? Will you allow email, phone calls and other distractions to suck your time away? When you face the fact that those eight hours are all you have each day, and that spending those eight hours wisely is absolutely key to your success, it becomes much easier to eliminate distractions and stay focused. Of course, uncontrollable events will occur, but you can always make a choice about how you will spend your time budget.
  4. Be accountable – Let friends and family know about your schedule and that you’re not available for personal calls during your work hours. Block out specific times during the day when you check your email and handle social media. During other times keep your email program CLOSED so you can avoid new messages and alerts that can distract you. Work with a marketing coach who can help you define your projects, break them down into chunks and stay on track with your progress. Bad marketing habits don’t have to hold you back forever! When you own up to your past mistakes, make a commitment to building better habits and set up accountability systems, you will start to see the results that good habits and consistency can bring.

What ONE shift can you commit to this week so you give more attention to increasing your profits? Share your thoughts with me in the comments.

YOUR “TAKE ACTION” PLAN FOR THIS WEEK:

  1. Own up to your past mistakes and make a commitment to change. There’s no time like the present, so commit now to developing better habits.
  2. Outline a simple marketing plan that you can follow consistently. This organization step will make it easier to implement.
  3. Dedicate your work hours to getting WORK done. Ask yourself during the day “Is this really how I should spend these minutes?” and change course if you’re doing something unproductive.
  4. Be accountable. Find a coach who will help you break your big goals into smaller pieces, and will hold you to finishing those smaller pieces by a certain time and date.

Sydni Craig-HartSydni Craig-Hart, expert marketing coach and consultant, teaches solo service professionals how to create a profitable, freedom focused business. Known as “The Smart Simple Marketing Coach,” Sydni uses a results-focused, “how to” approach in implementing simple and customized strategies so clients realize their professional and personal dreams. She has worked with hundreds of clients in over 50 different industries to help them attract more clients, develop multiple streams of income, discover untapped profit centers, gain national recognition, and create profitable businesses in which they enjoy the lifestyles they choose. To get your FREE training course “5 Simple Steps to More Clients, More Visibility and More Freedom!” and schedule a complimentary “Profit Breakthrough” coaching session, visit www.SmartSimpleMarketing.com.

Press Release: Marketing a Small Business in 2012: Free Coffee Break Advice

Sydni Craig-Hart, founder of Smart Simple Marketing, announced that they will be hosting weekly expert conversations with professionals who will help small business owners implement simple, profitable marketing strategies in 2012. These “Take 10″ ten-minute coffee breaks will be offered free on the company blog and podcast channel.

Emeryville, CA (PRWEB) January 05, 2012 – Smart Simple Marketing, a San Francisco Bay Area marketing coaching firm, will be featuring industry experts over the course of 2012 to offer free, ten-minute “coffee break” interviews. These interviews will provide expert marketing advice to small business owners and service professionals who want to increase their profits and get new clients this year.

Sydni Craig-Hart, the founder, said, “Small business owners are looking for actionable and practical ideas that they can put into place right away to get new clients or increase their profits. They don’t always have 45 minutes or an hour to spend learning from their mentors. This is a way to get simple, practical, actionable information into their hands FAST!”

Every Thursday, starting January 12, Craig-Hart’s weekly “Take 10” coffee break will be posted on the Smart Simple Marketing blog. In it, she’ll interview an industry expert on a specific marketing topic to give business owners an action plan that they can implement right away. The interview will be recorded and posted on the Smart Simple Marketing Podcast channel.

Some of the professionals who will be featured on these short interviews include experts in social media, search engine marketing, organization, email marketing, public relations and many more.

Craig-Hart said, “I’m really excited about the talent and knowledge our experts have! Each of these short interviews will tackle a specific topic, like how to get corporate clients, optimize your website or create more visibility online and provide the listener with a simple plan they can put into practice right away. It’s a great opportunity for time-starved entrepreneurs to put an effective marketing strategy in place to start the New Year off right.”

Those interested in gaining access to these free interviews can subscribe to the blog or podcast channel.

About Smart Simple Marketing

Smart Simple Marketing was founded in 2005 as a marketing virtual assistance firm. Today they are a full-service marketing coaching and consulting firm, specializing in helping small service professional organizations to quickly and effectively create more money in their business and gain new clients. They have a series of do-it-yourself tools, group and individual coaching plans available. For more information, contact them through their website or by calling toll-free 800-283-0954.

###

Three Things You Should Know About Mobile SEO

Do you need to revise your tactics for mobile SEO? And what impact will Siri, the new iPhone 4S personal assistant that searches the web, have on your SEO efforts? Here are three things you should know about mobile SEO.

1. You don’t have to rethink your SEO strategy to optimize for mobile web searches.

Mobile SEO works pretty much the same as desktop SEO. You still need to optimize content with relevant keyword phrases. You still need to attract quality backlinks from other sites. And you still need to ensure your site is search engine-friendly.

To explore mobile-friendly keyword phrases, use the free Google AdWords Keyword Tool’s mobile filtering option. Look for “Advanced Options and Filters” near the top of the page and select “Devices: Desktops and laptops,” then select a mobile option.

2. You might want to make your site mobile-friendly.

In most cases, modern smartphones and tablets are capable of serving up desktop-browser-optimized sites in a readable, usable fashion, “so there is no real need for mobile-specific effort from webmasters,” according to Google’s Webmaster Central blog.

However, it might make sense for your content to be formatted differently for smartphones and tablets to improve the customer experience and to increase the likelihood they’ll make a purchase or take a desired action.

Not sure how your current site looks on a small screen? On November 1, Google released an online tool, GoMoMeter, which shows how your site looks on a mobile browser. You can also find a mobile site developer using Google’s tool. For $25 a month, Mobile Moxie offers online tools for keyword research, mobile website emulation, mobile search engine simulation, and more.

3. Siri will make optimized listings and long-tail keywords more important.

Ask the iPhone 4S Siri personal assistant a question, such as “Where can I hide a dead body?,” and it’s likely to deliver a list of relevant businesses culled from Google Places and Yelp (such as swamps and dumps). As voice-search technology on iPhones, Androids and other smartphones become popular, it will be even more important to make sure your small business has a keyword-optimized listing on Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yelp.

At the same time, Siri makes long-tail keyword searches much easier on an iPhone 4S. With that in mind, you might want to create an FAQ page on your site with the questions written as long-tail keyword phrases.

Adding it All Up

Optimizing for mobile devices is no different from optimizing for computer-based searches. But as people increasingly perform searches on smartphones and tablets, make sure your site displays well on mobile devices and emphasizes the action you want users to take. Get your business listed with Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yelp (if relevant). And stay current with voice-enabled smartphone search and other trends.


James A. MartinJames A. Martin is an SEO copywriter and consultant based in San Francisco.

 

Enroll Your Next Client Within Days

If you entered a contest that challenged you to enroll one new client next week, how would you go about doing so? Imagine that the stakes are VERY HIGH. The prize, $100,000 if you could just get one new client to work with you in your business. Would $100,000 be enough to get you excited about prospecting for clients?

I hope that you are excited because this is a reality. If you work feverishly to get in front of your ideal clients, you can truly operate a highly successful, profitable business! Think about why you started your business in the first place. What made you excited about being an entrepreneur? That is the very energy and zeal that you need to employ when you are marketing your solutions to the people who are already looking for you.

I want to share with you the strategies that we have used to build three successful businesses. First, I want to offer a disclaimer. If you don’t create a plan and WORK that plan, by doing what you need to do, you will not get new clients and thus build your business. Fair enough? Good! Let’s get started:

  • I tapped into my warm market: That tactic is how I got my business off the ground. I simply told my friends, co-workers and associates that I was starting a Virtual Assistance company. It was fascinating to them that I was going to do the same work that I had been doing for more than a decade using the freedom of running my own company. I sent a letter to everyone that I knew and set coffee dates with others. I did whatever I could to get the word out about my new business. This was my first marketing campaign ever and my company was born. I did the same thing when I started a VA training company and when I launched my coaching practice.
  • I networked eagerly: Keep in mind that networking is a matter of connecting with others and being a resource for them. So, I told more people – whoever would listen – about how I could help entrepreneurs to create more freedom and more success in their business. Additionally, I made sure that I attended events where invested, forward-thinking entrepreneurs were in attendance, and I really tried to get to know people. One thing that attracted clients to my business was my professional approach. I had a polished, professional, easy-to-navigate website that detailed my services and my background. My business cards set the tone and made a great first impression. Most importantly, I followed up: PROMPTLY.
  • I used Craigslist.com strategically: This turned out to be a GREAT idea because entrepreneurs posted the type of help they were looking for on this popular site. I found my first two clients here and had a wonderful working relationship with both companies. Depending on the type of services you provide, this could be a great way to connect with people who are already looking for what you have to offer.
  • I followed up tenaciously: People are busy and will quickly forget about you. Don’t take it personally, or as a sign that they aren’t interested in working with you. My philosophy has always been to NOT allow prospects to forget about me. I stay top of mind until I know one way or the other if we are a good fit to work together. It is surprising how many of those prospects, who soon became clients said, “I’m impressed by your follow up, you are the type of professional that I want to work with.”

BONUS TIP

  • I increased my knowledge and skill religiously: If there was a class or seminar that I could attend, I made sure that I was there. It is so important to make the effort to build your business to the best of your ability. Sure, there were many opportunities that I could not afford. More importantly, there were many opportunities that I could not afford to miss! The more you know the more you grow, which ultimately translates to the growth of your business and your income.

So, that is it. The magic bullet was my creating a plan and doing the work to implement that plan, day in and day out. The same will be true for you. Regardless of what strategies you choose to grow your business, make the commitment to see your plans through. Consistency is far more powerful than perfection! (Especially because perfection doesn’t really exist.) Focusing your energy on just a few key techniques and working your plan is guaranteed to create more profits and more freedom in your business.

It would be my pleasure to take you by the hand and walk you through the same process I use to create my own marketing plan. Simply register your spot at www.CreateYourMoneyMap.com and I’ll give you all the tools and step-by-step instruction you need to create a rockin’ profit plan for 2012!

What marketing strategies are you considering for 2012? Do tell by posting your thoughts below!

YOUR “TAKE ACTION” PLAN FOR THIS WEEK:

  1. Check out the “Create Your Money Map” details page to learn about the program and how implementing my simple 10-step system will set you up for success in 2012.
  2. Set aside 15 minutes JUST to think about what’s possible in your business. (NOTE: Don’t censor yourself with “I can’t do that/charge that/afford that.”) For a few moments just visualize what you REALLY want your business to look like and ask yourself “What’s possible?”
  3. Jot down the thoughts that come to mind and what you need to do to achieve your goals.
  4. Consider which of the strategies I mentioned in this article can be the foundation of your marketing plan. Keep brewing over your ideas and get ready to learn how to make your goals a reality starting December 6th.

Sydni Craig-HartSydni Craig-Hart, expert marketing coach and consultant, teaches solo service professionals how to create a profitable, freedom focused business. Known as “The Smart Simple Marketing Coach,” Sydni uses a results-focused, “how to” approach in implementing simple and customized strategies so clients realize their professional and personal dreams. She has worked with hundreds of clients in over 50 different industries to help them attract more clients, develop multiple streams of income, discover untapped profit centers, gain national recognition, and create profitable businesses in which they enjoy the lifestyles they choose. To get your FREE training course “5 Simple Steps to More Clients, More Visibility and More Freedom!” and schedule a complimentary “Profit Breakthrough” coaching session, visit www.SmartSimpleMarketing.com.

Keeping Up with Your RSS Feed on the Web, iPad, or Smart Phone

Which programs and apps are best suited for your needs?

In 2011 it’s just crazy not to gather all your favorite blogs and websites into one easy-to-read RSS feed. The question is, which one is the best? Well, it depends on how you keep up with your internet reading: on a computer, a tablet like the iPad, or through your smart phone. Here are some of my favorite programs and apps for each scenario.

For the computer: I really like Google Reader. It is a very simple, clean interface—not many frills, but it gets the job done. It lets you read your feeds easily and simply, and you can organize your feeds into groups—for instance, segregating your tech and sports blogs, or grouping your favorite, must-read blogs into one folder. Other aggregators like My Yahoo will also let you import RSS feeds, so if you are already using My Yahoo you can import your feeds there too and just get them into a site where you are already in the habit of visiting.

For the iPad: Flipboard, which is available in the App Store, is a really beautiful way to manage your feeds. It takes all of your different feeds—whether they are RSS feeds, social media, or websites—and presents them in a magazine-style layout. It takes today’s technology and meshes it with yesterday’s presentation format of a magazine, coming up with a really great, usable result.

For the smart phone: If you are on an Android or an iPhone, you might want to look at Pulse, which is a really nice way to read feeds on a smaller screen.


Joshua Zerkel, Productivity Strategist, is a Certified Professional Organizer® and the founder of Custom Living Solutions the San Francisco Bay Area’s premier productivity and organizing consulting firm, and he’s the creator of the Profitable Productivity System. Josh specializes in helping entrepreneurs and small businesses find easy ways to get control of their space, information, time, and technology so they can reduce stress and boost their productivity – and their profits. Visit Custom Living Solutions and get instant access to Josh’s exclusive Special Report “The 7 Must-Have Productivity Systems” and schedule your complimentary “Eliminate the Chaos” strategy session!