So You Want To Sell Online?

To sell online is the dream of many. An online course is all the rage. After all, it’s a vast global marketplace and you can work from the comfort of your own home.

Making money while you sleep.  Sounds fabulous!

The Reality

All too often we start out all fired up only to discover that reality is not quite as simple as we initially envisaged.

The reality is this – it’s hard work. BUT there is a way to get a head start, and that’s by using the expertise that my friend Amy Porterfield has to share in the Digital Starter Kit that she’s created.

No such thing as an overnight success.

Yes, it is possible to be very successful online. It all comes down to strategy.

Regardless of whether you are an Etsy store, an author, a business coach…Before you do anything at all there 5 key areas that you need to pay close attention.

5 steps to successfully selling online

Step 1 – Identifying your target audience.  You need to be really specific because you cannot be all things to all people.

If you are too generic, you miss the mark because people do not realise you are talking to them. When you are niching down you have a much better chance of succeeding.

Step 2 – Start building your email list. This is absolutely essential. It means being able to speak directly to your target audience.

If they join your email list, you know they are interested in what you have to offer.

Step 3 – Get really clear & familiar with what you will need to deliver.

So many people start to plan an online course or product, but then, partway down the path, realise they have no idea on what is needed to deliver the finished product.

In other words HOW all the moving parts need to fit together. If the building blocks don’t fit then there is no way that sales happen. It’s definitely not a case of build it and they will come.

Step 4 – Know the costs involved in getting started.

This can be a very nasty shock and lack of funds can end up stalling your progress.  Not many people tell you exactly what this looks like and I’ve made a few expensive mistakes along the way.

Step 5 – Create your initial campaign designed to educate rather than to sell. Your audience needs to get to know you. After all, would you buy from a perfect stranger online?

Once you have these five steps in place you are ready to start thinking about marketing your product.

The five steps outlined above are way more important than having a fancy logo or branded collateral. They are the icing on the cake that only comes AFTER you have baked the cake. In other words – the solid base needs to be in place before you can start the decorating.

As business strategists, we all too often see people make the mistake of investing far too much in the ”trimmings.”  This can be a costly mistake.

Selling or teaching online is great, but it’s a journey that you need to be approaching strategically if you want to be successful.

It’s not easy, but it’s most definitely worth the effort and with Amy Porterfield’s help my journey has been so much easier – as I am sure yours will be when you tap into her resources.

Got an opinion or question? I’d love you to share it in the comments.

Fly Like A Dragon

Michelle

 

How to effectively toot your own horn

How to effectively toot your own horn, and promote yourself and your business without looking like a complete self promoter is something that so many of us grapple with.

Do you find it easy to toot your own horn?

If you’re like a zillion other business people I know, then your most likely answer is going to be no. And that’s a perfectly normal answer.

Learning how to promote yourself without sounding like you’re bragging is not always the easiest thing to do. If you feel uncomfortable you are not alone.

It seems a bit braggish to be boasting about how wonderful you are. Braggish – is that even a word?

Nothing more annoying that those people who pop up all over the place telling you how wonderful they are, full of their own importance and it’s all about them. You know the kind I mean. Very rarely share anything about anyone else, just tell you all about themselves. They kind of tend to be the same in real life too – never stop to take breath or ask anyone else about how they are doing.

On the other hand, you kind of have to admire the size of their ego and the fact that they are totally oblivious to anything but themselves, their own needs and wants.

SO – how do you tell people how wonderful you and your business are without coming across as being full of ego?

Well, here’s the thing.

I have spent a great many years working in the not for profit sector. Most people in this sector are amazingly giving and generous with their time and knowledge. They do what they do for others, rather than themselves. Sure, they may get paid, but the wages are paltry compared with the corporate world.

I crossed from corporate to not for profit and now into the world of self employment.

I always found it very easy (and I still do) to promote a charity or a cause that I am working for. That’s because I only work with nice people and causes I believe in.

It’s very easy to ask for money for others. It’s easy to ask for support for a charity.

When it came down to promoting myself, that was a whole diferent kettle of fish. I had one major stumbling block.

The difficulty was…..

Making the ask for myself. When I first returned to Australia, I needed to let people know that I was looking for business locally.

It was not easy.

Up until that point, I had never needed to ask for myself.

I felt uncomfortable actively telling people about my own credentials and successes. It felt like I was bragging. I’ve never been particularly good at the me, me, me thing.  In my business successes I’ve always put my achievements down to whole teams efforts, crediting those working me for their contributions.

Then I realised that all these people I have helped, people who said they admired my work, were actually very willing to help me move ahead in my business.

The problem was…..

They did not know I needed help.

What I had to do was ask. They were not mind readers.

Ok, I had to do a little bit more than ask.  I needed to be clear about HOW they could help me and be specific about WHAT I wanted them to do.

I found LinkedIn a truly valuable tool for helping promote my business skills.  It was a place people could look me up, and the recommendations, honours and awards on my profile did the horn tooting for me.

Click here to grab a copy of our 8 Top Tips for using LinkedIn

I also honed my  pitch, so that I could quickly explain

“Dragons Sisters can help you to connect, convert and sell. We do this through strategic communication and a proven formula of Smarketing – strategy, sales and marketing.”

The team at Dragon Sisters has many talents, but it all boils down to helping clients with connecting, converting and selling.

To understand more about what it takes to connect, convert and sell  Click here to grab your copy of our FREE e-book on How to Create Engagement with Strategic Communication. It’s packed with engagement tips and information to help you succeed.

Once I started to express exactly what we do, the business stared to flow and we’ve not looked back. In fact, it’s rather nice to be in the position that we have many repeat clients and lots of word of mouth referrals.

To  each and every one of the businesses we’ve worked with – THANK YOU! It’s been a great pleasure to help you move your businesses forward.

Michelle

 

 

 

The Secret Ingredient to Getting More Business

You need to be getting more business.

That’s why you’re reading this – am I right?

You’re not alone. Do not despair.

There are plenty of people out there bemoaning their lack of customers.

The fact that you have tough competition, that maybe you can’t get your message out there in a way that translates to more business is frustrating.  I hear you!

Or maybe your message works – you get leads and enquiries – but still no significant increase in sales. Frustrating to say the least.

Does this sound like you? If so, keep reading.

You’ve spent a lot of time and effort building your profile, your brand or your service, thinking up ways to get new customers in the door.

It’s probably cost you a quite a bit too, in advertising, promotions, website development and more.

Perhaps you’ve now got a nice little group of clients, some new prospects and supporters, but you need more.

You need more sales!

So what’s the secret?

Okay – here we go…

If you’re savvy you’ll be translating all your efforts, not just your marketing, into real sales opportunities.

After all, it’s taken a lot to get yourself this far.

Often people think that it’s enough to be busy marketing, even if the results are pretty much hit-and-miss. At least they are maintaining awareness of their brand or service and isn’t that what marketing is all about?

These same lovely people, in the next breath, ask me:

But what can I do to get more business (from my sales and marketing efforts)?

My answer is always:

You can do a lot!

And it need cost you no more, or even less, than what you’re doing now. In fact, if you have a tiny budget, you can still do a lot.

Because all that is missing is one key element to your sales and marketing equation … Smarketing….the secret ingredient!

So what’s Smarketing?

Smarketing encompasses sales, strategy and marketing rolled into a system that becomes a part of how you work, and everything that you do.

It’s learning how to refocus your business mindset for results.

When you’re a Smarketer you have your own unique voice and are able to consistently use every opportunity that presents itself to be getting more business which in turn helps you achieve your goals and dreams.

A Smarketing Mindset sets you up for success.

If you want to transform your business-winning capabilities, BUT need a little help, you might like our FREE weekly tips focussed on smarketing and taking your business to the next level.

No matter what stage your business it at and even if you’re on a roll, it’s vital to be smarketing. Always.

Fly like a dragon Fly like a dragon

Michelle

Every Wednesday – direct to your Inbox – FREE Smarketing tips to help you connect, convert and sell!




 

 

Michelle Hanton is a multi-award winning bespoke business strategist, working internationally as a consultant, coach, speaker and writer. She has a keen interest in the not-for-profit sector and is the former CEO of Lifeline Top End, and founder of Dragons Abreast Australia, a national charity dedicated to the promotion of breast cancer awareness.




The 4 Top Reasons Referrals Are Essential To Your Business

Referrals are a great source of business and despite the deluge of social media advertising some traditional methods still very much have a place in today’s business world.

4 Reasons referrals are essential

  1. Customer acquisition costs are a bare minimum.

Your happy customers are doing the marketing for you. Of course, this only happens if you give good service and are attentive to your customers’ needs. This means going above and beyond what is expected.

Satisfied customers are more than likely to bring in more customers to your business.

  1. Customer retention rate is higher.

If people are happy with your services, they are most likely to keep doing business with you. It is important to maintain contact and listen to customer feedback.

  1. The market place is generally crowded. This makes getting your message to stand out from the crowd difficult.
  1. Conversion rates are higher. A prospect introduced to your business by someone they trust is far more likely to convert into a new client/customer.

Knowing when and how to spot a potential referral opportunity is a good way to kick-start your referral system into gear. When a happy, satisfied customer comes along and gives good feedback, grab the opportunity to ask the customer to spread the good about your business.

Conducting after-sale interactions lets your customers know they are valued and not everything ends immediately after the sale/job is done.

How Referrals Work

When was the last time you went to a restaurant because a friend kept on raving how great the food or the service was?

I bet it was pretty recently. In fact, just today, I went to brunch at a new place because a couple of friends recommended it.

Have you ever asked a family member/friend to recommend a reliable plumber/electrician to take care of your dripping taps or broken fans?

I do this on a regular basis because good tradies are hard to find! Similarly, doctors, dentists, web designers, accountants and a myriad of other professionals.

If you’re like me, then you probably like to give your business to, and place your trust in, someone that comes recommended by somebody you know and trust.

If you haven’t got a system in place, it’s not too late to start! When you keep your eyes open it’s surprising at how easy it really is.

I’d love you to share your feedback on how you handle referrals and what systems you are using.

Michelle

PS Enjoyed this article? Sign up for my newsletter every Wednesday – direct to your Inbox – to help you connect, convert and sell!




Michelle Hanton is a multi-award winning bespoke business strategist, working internationally as a consultant, coach, speaker and writer. She has a keen interest in the not-for-profit sector and is the former CEO of Lifeline Top End, and founder of Dragons Abreast Australia, a national charity dedicated to the promotion of breast cancer awareness.

Who wants Uber Marketing?

Answer: Who doesn’t?!

I got this from Powered by Oxford Dictionaries • © Oxford University Press as the definition of ‘uber’:

“… denoting an outstanding or supreme example of a particular kind of person or thing … ”

Maybe you are an outstanding expert in your field.
Maybe your business is a supreme example for your sector.
Maybe everything about your business is totally uber – except the un-uber state of your customer engagement.

Did you see the post we shared on Facebook this morning that digital disruption has already happened?
Old Digital Marketing(1)It’s something many B2B and B2C clients are trying to get a handle on.

We know, because they ask us to help with this more than any other single Business Barrier Busting need.

The biggest challenges are:
1. What do you put up – or put out there – as your marketing messages?

2. How do you engage the interest of prospects and customers?

3. What will set you apart from the multitude of product and service toting businesses?

The answer to this is Strategic Content Marketing. And it’s not rocket science.

We do it every day, usually in the form of ghost writing, for just about every sort of platform – articles, email shots, blogs, webinars, Snagit, LinkedIn, Facebook, newsletters, advertorials etc.

Is that an unashamed plug for one of the Dragon Sisters services? Well, I am a sales person at heart, so what do you think?

This isn’t a plug though. Rather, I am sharing what I really think is a great article by Brian Honigman which explains a lot in terms of ‘how to.’ So if you’re in the mood for a Sunday read, check it out.

Hope this helps you with your marketing.
Have a super uber Sunday!
Yvonne

Yvonne Toering is a business development consultant who has worked with leading organisations and brands including Securicor Group, Vodafone Group, ASDA as well as most of the UK’s major high street retail chains including Marks and Spencer Plc, the National Health Service, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Mars UK, and the Grand Metropolitan Group, owners of Burger King, Smirnoff, Samuel Webster Brewers, Haagen Daas, Cinzano and other iconic brands.

Understanding A Sales Meeting

There are meetings, and there are meetings (very often too many of them!), but one thing every meeting should produce is measurable, achievable and progressive outcomes.

As elementary as this sounds (My Dear Watson) it’s sometimes quite astonishing how often meetings fail to produce this result.

This happens for a variety of reasons, though it’s safe to say that the main two reasons are (a) that there has been a lack of understanding, and (b) that there has been a lack of commitment. Both issues arise from the incorrect positioning of the dialogue.

The giveaway is in the title. If the meeting does not produce sales resultant outcomes – budget, orders, market share, etc. – then it has no business calling itself a Sales Meeting. As they say, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck … well, it’s a duck, not a Sales Meeting.

Understanding a Sales Meeting
Image courtesy of James Barker at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’ve been a party to sales meetings my entire working life, as a participant and as a manager. The most common failing of many sales meetings is that the chair does not understand the basics of running such a meeting.

Naturally, every sales meeting is about performance and sometimes there is a distinct lack of understanding of how to successfully translate this objective into meaningful, dynamic, real time, meeting outcomes (sales!!).

For example, if the meeting revolves simplistically around looking at last month’s figures, berating those team members who haven’t hit target, lavishly praising the team star and worst, kicking the team trailer (while she’s down) what you have is a Head Kicker Session not a Sales Meeting.

Similarly, if the meeting is all about what the company needs and wants with no substance (dialogue) as to how the team individuals can actively go out and achieve this, you might just as well send out a memorandum directive email. That’s not even a meeting!

The absolute worst sales meetings have been those where the boss expounds at length on a particular individual’s poor performance or that of a few non-performing team members.

That’s not a sales meeting. That’s a performance review. The reason (other than HR legislation) that those are done in private is that if there’re performance issues to address these should not be aired in public. At best you’ll end up with one shattered, humiliated individual (and how great is his performance likely to be then?!); at worst you’ll end up with the entire team thinking you’re a complete bar-steward, eager to stick the knife in at the earliest opportunity. The ‘sales meeting’ then moves on to projections for the new month, often in similar vein.

Too often the finale, in the guise of Any Other Business, degenerates into a whinging session or the boring minutiae of office housekeeping, e.g. the admin staff have again complained that no one is washing up their lunch dishes. Be still my beating heart! Boy is this going to project your team like so many sales-seeking-missiles out of that meeting room ready to wrest the best out of the day’s opportunities – not.

There are two things any chair must get out of the Sales Meeting:

  1. The team’s understanding of how to achieve their target
  2. The team’s commitment to achieving their target

We’ll talk about how we achieve this next time. Meantime, watch out for ducks!

Yvonne

Yvonne Toering is a business development consultant who has worked with leading organisations and brands including Securicor Group, Vodafone Group, ASDA as well as most of the UK’s major high street retail chains including Marks and Spencer Plc, the National Health Service, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Mars UK, and the Grand Metropolitan Group, owners of Burger King, Smirnoff, Samuel Webster Brewers, Haagen Daas, Cinzano and other iconic brands.

This post originally appeared on Simple Team Meeting on 3 June 2015