ONE Strategy in Business won’t cut it!

Biz Strategy Naomi Mc Laughlan

You need to anticipate changes in your micro- and macro environment and adjust accordingly.

Markets change, buyer behaviour changes, your personal circumstances, your workforce, political, economic, social, technology, legal, and environmental changes…and sooooo much more.

Therefore, I think that what many ‘online gurus’ sell these days is false and a crab lot of BS. Often they sell ‘the program, magic pill or how to strategy’, because they never had a real business, so no ‘real-life application’ and / or they never went to a business school / University, so no qualification, but rather bought into the coaching hype of the 2000s; Quick cash selling Dreams.

And adding to all that, most of them have not even invested in getting a professional coaching qualification…

It is up to YOU, to find the ‘right’ coach, consultant or mentor, but let me warn you all those three words alone are not protected by any means or standard, so in short anybody that FEELS they HAVE IT, can start a coaching / consulting business, without knowing ANYTHING, selling you shit!

Investigate before you invest! Don’t part with your money on impulse… just saying!

Create the Life & Business You Desire & Deserve!

Naomi xxx

P.S.: I am happy to work with you, so head over to my website to book one of my coaching or consultation sessions! Looking forward to meeting you and hearing about your dream venture!

P.P.S: Yes, I am qualified, not only academically to coach, consult and mentor in business and / or multimedia marketing, but also from a practitioners standpoint, as I have also built and grown three successful and profitable businesses in the past 16 years, both in the B2B and B2C sector and in multiple industries.  Yay! 😉

P.P.P.S: Sorry for the rant, but it need to be said!!!

Beat your Competition

beat-naomi-mc-laughlan

Whether you run your own business or you are an employee, doesn’t really matter if you seek to stand out from the crowed, because you will be rewarded either way.

Our working environment has become ever so competitive, hence globalisation which has brought us positive advantages, as well as challenges. Outsourcing work to overseas locations has become the norm and that has the side-effect of many local employees having been laid off. Or, you find that some business to business (B2B) deals are now made with firms which are able to offer lower prices than you, as their general operational costs are lower, especially HR costs. And yet, this is your chance to shine; simply by improving your skills, knowledge and resilience.

You can beat your competition by making yourself non-replaceable. If you complete tasks at a better quality, at an increased speed and in an overall professional manner, you will indeed have greater opportunities to get promoted faster and keep your employer not only happy but also positively impressed or create raving fans of your products and services and retain happy customers and clients.

Here are 5 Rules on How to Beat your Competition

1. Use all the time at work, to actually work. Don’t stay longer than agreed upon at lunch time or delay delivery of your products or services.  Be punctual at all times.

2. Plan ahead and finish tasks as planned. Try to be on top off all activities, at all times.

3. Educate yourself. Stay informed about what is going on within your company, as well as within your sector and industry. Become the ‘Go-to’ person in your field.

4. Invest time and other resources to improve your skill set and knowledge base. Take part in all internal training events, participate in seminars and workshop that can teach you industry specific expertise.

5. Plan your future consistently. Where would you like to be one year from now? If you want to be promoted or grow your business, learn about what you need to do in order to get that promotion or increase your customer base, grow your market or even diversify your product or service line.

Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

All the Best,

Naomi xxx

P.S.: Don’t forget to LIKE COMMENT FOLLOW & SHARE

P.P.S.: Do you want to GROW Your Business? Great! Achieve your dream faster and more efficient; Book your first strategy session today!

 

Interactive Communication through Videoblogging & Live Video for Your Biz

episode-23

Web 2.0 or better known as Social Media has not only emerged to share personal views and ideas, but can also be utilized for business purposes, which of cause isn’t news, its common practice.

However, while many individuals have become quite popular through videoblogging or vlogging on a regular basis, not many entrepreneurs and business owners have discovered this to be a great opportunity to present their services and / or products in a two-way conversation and engage interactively with their viewers.

Videoblogging is the next generation of posting ideas and products over the internet, especially because you can do so via Google+ Hangout or Facebook Live, while it simultaneously gets recording. Everybody knows about blogging or sharing content in another multimedia way. While a recorded video is great, and pictures say a thousand words, videoblogging exceeds that by far.

Videoblogging works with people on the internet expressing their selves. Now if you put this on a business prospective, you are up to a lot of benefits. Think of it as a powerful tool in making showing your prospective customers your line of products or your services. It’s just like showing a commercial all for free. And if you video blog on a specific topic, create a great headline and write a keyword rich description, you can increase the interest of your target market.

People like to see what they are going to buy. Some would like to see proof and be sure that they are getting their money’s worth before shelving their dimes on it. All of us know the influence of a thirty second commercial. The effect of videoblogging is similar to that. You show your product, people watch it. If they like it, they buy it. If you present it good enough, they’ll buy the product even if they don’t need it.

Now on the web, much content is still static or pre-recorded, but if you post something that is mobile and interactive, you will most likely catch attention. Now imaging your product parading in all its royalty through videoblog. You’ll get orders in no time.

If your business is just starting up, you can create a videoblog right at your own home. All you need is your web camera, microphone, video software, and lights. As long as you know how to use your camera, and have downloaded the mobile apps of the Social Media platforms, you can create a Facebook or Instagram Live cast. Your viewers can interact with you by commenting in the chat box, while you are able to prompt them to ask questions about your service or products.

Invest in a good web camera, although in most cases you can use your smartphone placed on a tripod. Lights are important in a production. Make sure you illuminate entirely the area you are going to use to create videoblog. The brighter the area, the crispier the images will be. You can also use lighting effects for added appeal to the presentation. So if your room is dark, you may choose to film outside to get natural light, otherwise you can get affordable a ‘Selfie Ring Light’ that attaches to your phone or a more sophisticated large studio ring light. Select your background carefully too. The light affects the presentation so make sure that the background and the light complements each other.

Sounds are as important as videos on a videoblog; you could just use your phones headphones or get a wireless microphone with transmitter and receiver, which usually comes with a clip, to create an even more professional broadcast. Or is you record your videoblog via webcam your PC, laptop or Mac will record your voice most likely anyway.
If you go ‘Facebook or Instagram Live’, there is of cause initially no editing involved. Lucky you! – Every video is live cast is recorded, which means you can download the video in HD quality afterwards, and edit anything you wish to change, before uploading it as your vlog to your video sharing platform, e.g. YouTube.

Your video editing software can be any program. You need this to finalize your work. You can add sounds, delete some bad angles, or insert some still pictures in there too. Some programs are user-friendly and can be used even with zero knowledge on video editing. Even simple video editing programs should do the trick. Also, YouTube, for example, offers you free editing within your video editor dashboard.
Lastly, the more creative you are in presenting your product or service to the market, the more you are likely to succeed. Videoblogging offers an interactive way of selling, because your customers can get involved. You instil in them the advantage of your goods. And at times, those are enough to make a sale.

 

Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

Also, please don’t forget to LIKE COMMENT FOLLOW & SHARE

All the Best,

Naomi

P.S.: I am happy to assist you in building the business you desire and deserve, so if you require  Business & Multimedia Consulting and / or Coaching, check out my website for more details or send me an email to info@naomimclaughlan.com.

SEO – How to select Search Engine Keywords

seo-2-naomi-mc-laughlan
As you surely know Search Engines are the vehicles that drive potential customers to your websites. But in order for visitors to reach their destination – your website – you need to provide them with specific and effective signs that will direct them right to your site. You do this by creating carefully chosen keywords, aka Search Engine Optimization or SEO.

Think of the right keywords as the Open Sesame! of the Internet. Find the exactly right words or phrases, and presto! Traffic pulling up to your front door…But if your keywords are too general or too over-used, the possibility of visitors actually making it all the way to your site – or of seeing any real profits from the visitors that do arrive – decreases dramatically.

Your keywords serve as the foundation of your marketing strategy. If they are not chosen with great precision, no matter how consistent or even aggressive your marketing campaign may be, the right people may never get the chance to find out about it.

So your first step in plotting your strategy is to gather and evaluate keywords and phrases.

You probably think you already know EXACTLY the right words for your search phrases. Unfortunately, if you haven’t followed certain specific steps, you are probably WRONG. It’s hard to be objective when you are right in the centre of your business network, which is the reason that you may not be able to choose the most efficient keywords from the inside. You need to be able to think like your customers. And since you are a business owner and not the consumer, your best bet is to go directly to the source.

Instead of plunging in and scribbling down a list of potential search words and phrases yourself, ask for words from as many potential customers as you can. You will most likely find out that your understanding of your business and your customers’ understanding is significantly different.

The consumer is an invaluable resource. You will find the words you accumulate from them are words and phrases you probably never would have considered from deep inside the trenches of your business.

Only after you have gathered as many words and phrases from outside resources should you add your own keyword to the list. Once you have this list in hand, you are ready for the next step: evaluation.

The aim of evaluation is to narrow down your list to a small number of words and phrases that will direct the highest number of quality visitors to your website. By “quality visitors” I mean those consumers who are most likely to make a purchase rather than just cruise around your site and take off for greener pastures. In evaluating the effectiveness of keywords, bear in mind three elements: popularity, specificity, and motivation.

Popularity is the easiest to evaluate because it is an objective quality. The more popular your keyword is, the more likely the chances are that it will be typed into a search engine which will then bring up your URL.

You can now purchase software that will rate the popularity of keywords and phrases by giving words a number rating based on real search engine activity, while some will even suggest variations of your words and phrases. The higher the number this software assigns to a given keyword; the more traffic you can logically expect to be directed to your site. The only fallacy with this concept is the more popular the keyword is, the greater the search engine position you will need to obtain. If you are down at the bottom of the search results, the consumer will probably never scroll down to find you.

Popularity isn’t enough to declare a keyword a good choice. You must move on to the next criteria, which is specificity. The more specific your keyword is, the greater the likelihood that the consumer who is ready to purchase your goods or services will find you.

Let’s look at a hypothetical example. Imagine that you have obtained popularity rankings for the keyword “automobile companies.” However, you company specializes in bodywork only. The keyword “automobile body shops” would rank lower on the popularity scale than “automobile companies,” but it would nevertheless serve you much better. Instead of getting a slew of people interested in everything from buying a car to changing their oil filters, you will get only those consumers with trashed front ends or crumpled fenders being directed to your site. In other words, consumers ready to buy your services are the ones who will immediately find you. Not only that, but the greater the specificity of your keyword is, the less competition you will face.

The third factor is consumer motivation. Once again, this requires putting yourself inside the mind of the customer rather than the seller to figure out what motivation prompts a person looking for a service or product to type in a particular word or phrase. Let’s look at another example, such as a consumer who is searching for a job as an IT manager in a new city. If you have to choose between “London job listings” and “London IT recruiters” which do you think will benefit the consumer more? If you were looking for this type of specific job, which keyword would you type in? The second one, of course! Using the second keyword targets people who have decided on their career, have the necessary experience, and are ready to enlist you as their recruiter, rather than someone just out of school who is casually trying to figure out what to do with his or her life in between beer parties. You want to find people who are ready to act or make a purchase, and this requires subtle tinkering of your keywords until you find the most specific and directly targeted phrases to bring the most motivated traffic to you site.

Once you have chosen your keywords, your work is not done. You must continually evaluate performance across a variety of search engines, bearing in mind that times and trends change, as does popular lingo. You cannot rely on your log traffic analysis alone because it will not tell you how many of your visitors actually made a purchase.

Luckily, some new tools have been invented to help you judge the effectiveness of your keywords in individual search engines. There is now software available that analyses consumer behaviour in relation to consumer traffic. This allows you to discern which keywords are bringing you the most valuable customers.

This is an essential concept: numbers alone do not make a good keyword; profits per visitor do. You need to find keywords that direct consumers to your site who actually buy your product, fill out your forms, or download your product. This is the most important factor in evaluating the efficacy of a keyword or phrase, and should be the sword you wield when discarding and replacing ineffective or inefficient keywords with keywords that bring in better leads.

Ongoing analysis of tested keywords is the formula for search engine success. This may sound like a lot of work – and it is! But the amount of informed effort you put into your keyword campaign is what will ultimately generate your business’ rewards.

Don’t forget to LIKE < COMMENT < FOLLOW & SHARE

All the Best,

Naomi

P.S.: You require Business & Multimedia Marketing and PR Coaching or Consulting? Check out how I can assist you today!

 

 

The 7 Traits Every Small Business Owner Needs to Grow Their Business

7-traits-naomi-mc-laughlan

Have you ever wondered how you may grow your business? Do you need to focus more on strategy, sales and marketing or growing your team? Yes, yes and yes…but foremost you need to work on you own mind-set! You need to have a vision in mind for your business. Where do you want to be in a year from now, five years or even ten?

Furthermore, here are 7 Traits You Need to Grow Your Business to the Next Level

1.A strong Sense of Purpose; Most leaders who have achieved documented growth, e.g. the late Steve Jobs, discover that it takes more than the promise of increasing financial reward to fuel their aspirations and ambitions. They find a higher calling than simply the pursuit of “more money.”

2.Outstanding Market Intelligence; You need to focus strongly on trends and changes in your marketplace. Do not fall behind or victim of the strategic drift, due to working too much ‘in’ and not ‘on’ your business. Always focus on the bigger picture.

3.Effectively Plan for Growth; Without planning for growth, it will most likely not happen by ‘magic’. Therefore, journal about it, make a plan, implement and monitor all actions and adjust and regularly update your approach to stay up-to-date.

4.Customer Focused Processes; Listen to what your customers and clients need and what. This includes to provide an outstanding customer service and after-sales plan. Strive to provide your customers with a high quality, faster, cheaper and better product and / or service then any of your competitors.

5.Utilize Technology; There are endless, often free, tools available, so use them to your advantage.

6.Establish an Outstanding Team; Hire slow and fire fast. Focus on hiring, training and retaining the best and the brightest people you can afford. Also, focus on talent and aptitude and not just on official professional or academic qualification.

7.See the Future; Diligently monitor and interpret the micro- and macro forces of change affecting your environment. For example, consider how your business can contribute positively to society and the environment, become a leader in your community. Learn more about Global Goals, by reading or listening to my latest International Amazon Bestseller ‘How to apply Global Goals to your Business; The #1 Guide to becoming Greener, Leaner, and more Profitable by applying the 17 Sustainable Development Goals’. Also if you purchase a copy between January 23rd and January 31st you receive a FREE #Business #Sustainability #Strategy Session.

Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

If you require help in starting or growing your online or ‘brick-and-mortar’ business, book your first strategy session today!

All the Best,

Naomi

Are you thinking about E-commerce?

ecommerce-naomi-mc-laughlan

Think about this. You are planning to engage in “E-commerce”, to take your business online. So, you need to learn a new set of business rules, a new way of doing things, because online business is “different”, right?

Well, actually, no, not really. You still have a product or service to sell. You still have a store with a shop “window” (your website) and you still need the customers to visit your store, in order to buy whatever it is that you are selling.

The only major difference is that (continuing the analogy) your local store window can only be seen by a small group of people, whereas your online business can be seen by the whole world. By engaging in e-commerce, you can take your business “global”. For many businesses, this is truly an advantage, representing a wonderful opportunity.

But that is not the case for everyone, particularly for companies who sell a physical, tangible product. When planning to go online, therefore, you should spend some time thinking about your product and exactly who your target market is, because this will be a crucial factor in determining whether your venture is a success or a failure.

What it is that you plan to market on your e-commerce enabled website, and who will want to buy it? Some products will, by their very nature, not be totally suited to a worldwide market. Pork based food products for example, will not be popular in Muslim countries, nor will wine, whisky or beer. Sales of open toed sandals may be disappointing in Iceland, Greenland and the frozen polar North.

Secondly, give very careful thought about how you will get your product to the customer. This shall include the consideration if it is a viable option to sell and send individual items or rather in bulk, especially in regards of the cost of delivery. So consider carefully if you are going to enter the market as a retailer or wholesaler, which also includes to either sell to customers directly (B2C) or to other businesses (B2B). Additionally, if your product is bulky or heavy, selling outside your locale may not be practical.

Furthermore, you need to consider that, whilst most countries use the same Standard International Trade Classification (S.I.T.C) codes for deciding on how much import duty to levy on a particular product, the actual duty to be paid varies from country to country, and such variations may lead to disputes. In some instances, this can mean that your products can be held up in Customs for several days or even weeks on arrival, because of a dispute over the Import Duties to be paid.

Likewise, if you plan on selling a service online, can that service be provided outside your local area in such a way that you still make money? Do you need to have one of your own staff actually work with the customer (in which case, you need to stay local) or can the work be easily subcontracted on a global basis? Would it be easy to find such a local subcontractor capable of supplying your advertised service in such a way that both you and the customer are happy? How much would such a subcontractor cost? Can you utilize online based technology, such as video conferencing via Skype or Google+ to offer your services?

Unless you can get positive answers to all of these questions, then, again, it may pay you to keep your services local, rather than overreaching, in order to become a global player.

Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

If you require help in starting or growing your online or ‘brick-and-mortar’ business, book your first strategy session today!

All the Best,

Naomi

 

Increase Your Sales through Powerful Testimonials

feedback-naomi-mc-laughlan

There are many ways to market a product or a service and providing your potential clients and customers with testimonials is one of the best ways to market.

The power of testimonials can never be underestimated. Most people will only purchase products or avail services which have been referred to them by people whom they know. But most of the times, this is not an option that is in the hands of the business owner, he or she has to do the next best thing, which is to get testimonials from past clients.

Testimonials are living statements from past customers or clients which states that they were satisfied by the product and / or service. Every business must have testimonials to be able to stand out in the ever crowded markets.


3 Reasons why Testimonials can be Beneficial for Your Business

  1. Testimonials Appease the Target Market

    Testimonials usually lessen the doubts of the target market. There are a lot of scammers and con artists and this has turned the market into a fearsome one. Credible testimonials provide security to the people who are eyeing at a certain product or service. The provision of testimonials gives people a much more relaxed attitude towards a product or service.

    2. Testimonials Assure Quality

    Aside from confirming the existence of a business and lessening doubts, testimonials provide assurance to potential customers and clients of the quality of the product or service. The fact that they took time out to be able to write testimonials about the product reflect their levels of satisfaction towards the product and / or service.

    3. Testimonials Give Advantage

    Credible testimonials provide a competitive advantage for the product and / or service. There are many products and services out there and one of the ways to stand out from the rest is the use of credible testimonials.


3 Types of Consumer Testimonials

1. Testimonials from Satisfied Customers

This is probably the most effective type of testimonial. Nothing beats a testimonial from a satisfied customer because it is a picture of what the product and / or service is all about.

2. Testimonials from Experts

Experts can be credible sources of testimonials. If a renowned dermatologist writes a testimonial for a beauty soap, it will surely help in boosting its sales, wouldn’t it?

3. Testimonials from Celebrities

In a world that is run by mass media, celebrities have become powerful sources of        testimonials. Today, even infomercials are infested by testimonials from celebrities. People may think that getting testimonials from celebrities will cost a lot, but if it’s a real testimonial, celebrities may even waive their talent fees.

There is much more to making a testimonial an effective tool for marketing than gathering them. Good testimonials are the ones which can be compressed into a few catchy words. “I lost 20 pounds in two weeks!” is an example of an eye-catching testimonial. However, one must never rephrase or edit what the client had said. How to get the right kinds of testimonials will be discussed later.

Credible testimonials should also contain the complete attributes of the people who gave them. Their titles, location and age should be included whenever possible.

Visual appeal will also be a great help in using testimonials. If the clients are willing, one must insist in taking photographs or videos for their testimonials.


6 Steps to collect Great Testimonials from Your Customers & Clients

1. Before anything else, only products and / or services with outstanding quality deserve testimonials, so make sure that the product and / or service possesses exceptional quality.

2. Ask your customers. One must be able to communicate to his customers his need of getting their testimonials. If they are really satisfied with the product and / or service, they would be more than willing to participate.

3. Interview your customers. Ask them about what they like about your product/service, why they chose your product and other questions like these.

4. Ask them if they are willing to make a written testimonial. You can offer to make the testimonial yourself based on their responses during the interview but the testimonial is still up for their approval. You might want to make the wordings catchy and let them approve the testimonials.

5. Ask them if you could record the testimonial using a tape recorder or video cam. A video testimonial is better, but of course, many people are camera-shy and this can be a limited option for most.

6. Choose the best testimonials. Use the best ones so as to maximize the benefits that your product can get from the testimonials.

Testimonials are very powerful and this is the reason why every business should have them. They provide assurance and security and reflect the real essence of a product or a service.

If you are looking for more Business & Multimedia Marketing advice, consulting or coaching, check out my website for more details on how to book your strategy session!

Let me know what you think in the comment section below!

All the Best,

Naomi

P.S.: Please LIKE, COMMENT, FOLLOW & SHARE