Niche Marketing

Got Clients? No? Then Stop Putting Cats in Dresses

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Two_cats,_dressed_as_humans,_holding_rope,_which_doll_appears_to_be_skippingBack in January, I had the assignment from hell.  Every day, I had to cold-call 50 people I didn’t know, asking if they wanted digital marketing for their business. There were several things wrong with this scenario:

1) Most people I spoke with didn’t know what digital marketing was or why they needed it.

2) I had a quota to fulfill, so I didn’t have the luxury of time to research their companies.

3) I undervalued what Got Clicks brought to the table thinking that a big-named company could deliver the goods better than my little company. I was wrong.

4)  The power is NOT in the list, (I had literally thousands at my fingertips…) the power is in what you have to offer.

What did I do? Well, I didn’t hit quota, I can tell you that. (Nor did many of the other salespeople I had trained with for that big conglomerate.) But I came away with something far more important. We were missing something in our technique – the ability to listen.

Stop Putting Cats in Dresses

I made the simple (yet fatal…) mistake of talking about my solution before understanding their company, their products, or even understanding what their pain points were. As entrepreneurs, we create a product or solution first and THEN look for customers to sell our product to. It needs to be the other way around. Find the Pain, Find the Money THEN Follow Your Heart. Otherwise, you’re putting cats in dresses – forcing your solution to people who really don’t want (or need…) what you have to offer.
I spent endless amounts of time yapping about how I used Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and a kickin’ lead capture page to generate leads (and results.) What’s wrong with that? Nothing –  if it’s the right fit for that customer.

But what if it isn’t?

I’ve had more than one client have HUGE success independent of social media. Why? Because they spent the time learning what their clients REALLY were hungry for. They created what I like to call “Raging Cookie Fans.”  Raging cookie fans will go to great lengths to find you if you have what they’re hungry for.  Social media and web pages only make it easier for them to find you.  But you MUST have the product, solution or service your fan base is hungry for, otherwise, no Facebook, Twitter or cool website will EVER work if you fail to understand the pain points your customers face and how you can solve them.

The Click Retreat Begins This September


S-E-L-L is a four-letter word
Marketing means misery
Your client base has fallen off and you don’t know why…

Then maybe it’s time for The Click.

I began teaching this workshop last April and it was a HUGE success. I’m teaching it again in September and it’s perfect for those of you who are:

  • Stuck in your business and need a serious reboot.
  • Considering starting a business, but you find social media and website stuff overwhelming.
  • You want some hand-holding and help honing your message and finding RAGING cookie fans for your product or service.
  • You’d like someone to unveil your communication style and how you can successfully approach your clients without it being a hollow, sales-y pitch.
  • You want to meet other entrepreneurs who are interested in joint venture opportunities.
  • You want a weekend away where your main focus is on the messaging of your company.
  • You don’t want a “rah-rah” weekend and then it’s over. You want continuity, a well-defined start-to-finish program that you can implement with your style and your clients in mind.

If it’s time for you to Find The Click, LEARN MORE HERE


Facebook – Are You There? Should You Be?

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About a year ago, I spent so much time extolling the features of our products (Social Media Management, Search-Engine Friendly websites, ) showing my vast knowledge of Internet Marketing that I would miss the tell-tale signs of client burn-out:  eyes glazing over, arms crossed, leaning back in the chair and looking out the window wishing they were anywhere but in my office… What did I miss?  Showing my customers not only the WHY of social media (they already know it intuitively) but the HOW?

I saw this happen at a recent workshop I observed on Social Media.  It was excellent material and I was completely enthralled.  However, I heard questions from the audience that I didn’t feel were answered:

  • I don’t have TIME to manage Facebook – I really don’t want a second full-time job.
  • How do I know if anybody sees my posts on Facebook? (ie, ‘is this mic on?’)
  • How do I get people to “Like” my page?

Granted, you can’t always answer everyone’s needs in a one-hour workshop.  However, showing slides of statistics, graphs and quotes will do nothing but disengage your audience. Business owners already know they need to be on social media; they just don’t know the how yet.

Time Management:  Pick ONE that you love to post on – Facebook or Twitter and TIE them together.  That way, you post on one and it’ll show on the other.  Now, I realize there are pros out there who will squawk at this advice and you are absolutely right – in a perfect world, ALL the posts should be unique.  However, we live in the real world where time is money.  Tie them together – save yourself a headache.  The other nifty tool?  Hootsuite.  It posts to all of your networks. You can schedule your whole week out in advance.  Just make sure you check in daily to see if any new comments are in.

Getting Posts Noticed:  With all the algorithm changes, it IS very hard to get professional pages showing in newsfeeds.  I’ve found if I share my posts from my Got Clicks page onto my personal Facebook page, it helps with the number of people who see it.  If I have a seminar, I ask friends that I think would benefit to share it on their pages.  I shared fun photographs of my friends supporting one of my seminars (you’ll see the Selfie my good friend, Jerry took of him hanging one of my posters for my upcoming seminar in Middlebury and Williston).  If it’s fun, interesting and gets the point across, go ahead and post it!

Getting Likes to a Page:  Let’s say you don’t have a ton of friends on your personal page in Facebook, let alone your business page.  Find friends of yours who do have a regular following and ask them to recommend your page.  Another way is to have an offer – “Like” my page and get a gift certificate to ______”  Make it relevant to your business.  If it’s a gift card to Starbucks, so what?  But if it’s a discount to one of your products or services, it does 2 things:  allows people to check out your stuff and gets them buying with an upsell opportunity.

It’s Not All About YOU…  Don’t forget to LIKE other pages that compliment your business!  Not only should you “Like” them – COMMENT on their stories.  Chances are, they’ll comment back, or be more likely to share your content.  Don’t be spammy, be relevant.

Something in Common:  Find companies that compliment what you already do.  This is easily accomplished in Twitter.  Simply type in one of your keywords with a # in front:  #social media #paintedfurniture.  Do this and you’ll see which companies commented most recently.  Follow these pages, then look them up on Facebook to have a cross-promotion.

BUT… You could do ALL of this and STILL have no “Likes” to your business page.  Why?  Because you may have missed the most important lesson of entrepreneurship that no Facebook page, no blog – heck, no website could ever fix.  If you’d like to learn what that is, don’t miss “Got Clients” workshop.  The next session is listed HERE.

Exporting Contacts from Linked In? Yes. Facebook? Google+? Not so much

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I had a friend of mine message me on Facebook asking how to consolidate all of her contacts from Facebook, LinkedIn and Google +.  I thought this would be relatively easy and started putting a Yahoo account together so I could import my contacts, then export to a spread sheet.  The answer?  You can’t do it anymore:

I was feeling a bit like Facebook and Google+ are the Hotel California, you can checkout anytime you like, but your contacts can never leave.  This is good news for folks who want to know their contact information is private, yet a pain in the neck for those of us who’d like to have our own personal friends and contacts in one place.  LinkedIn DOES make it very easy to upload your contacts – I’ve spelled it out here:

Bottom line?  Download your contacts while you can in LinkedIn and stay tuned on any work-arounds for Facebook and Google+.  If you have any ideas, I’m all ears – this is a really interesting turn of events concerning privacy and ownership of information you upload into these social media giants.

Rebranding: It’s More Than a Pretty Logo

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Sarah Spencer Got Clicks 2013When I went from brunette to blonde about a year ago, I was scared to death.  I was excited about the new color, yet, I wasn’t sure if it would suit my personality, my style.  Would I fall victim to “dumb blonde” syndrome?  While I had fun being blonde, I did go back to my “roots” and I’m chillin’ with the brunette thing again and loving it.  When you start thinking about branding your company, it’s a much bigger commitment than changing the color of your hair, but it can sure stir up some strong emotions:

  • Fear, (will they like my new style?)
  • Excitement, (I can’t wait to ditch this old, tired persona, )
  • Confusion, (is this good for business?)

I’m starting work with a very smart client who recognizes that her shop has out-scaled her branding.  She’s known for one product,( in fact, she’s won numerous awards for it,) yet that niche has turned to a nightmare because she’s limited to one small window of opportunity for her business.  Niche marketing is great, but you need to look down the road at other products and services.  It’s healthy for businesses to reinvent themselves, just make certain you do it in a way that doesn’t confuse your existing following.

1)  Brand with Sense:  I know there’s been a lot of talk about the value (or devaluing) of keywords lately, but if you use common sense, you’ll know that if your domain name contains the keywords your customers will be typing into a search, it’s a pretty good idea to start with a solid domain name that tells what your product is in milliseconds.

2)  Brand Across Platforms:  If you’re going to change your image, go all the way.  Don’t leave your blog with the old imagery and your website branded with the new logo.   Check your content, too.  Find and replace your old tag lines with new ones that will resonate with your customers.

3)  Brand Your Social Media: Make sure your social media keeps up with the new branding.  Yes, you can change the name of your business in both Facebook and Twitter.  Here’s a GREAT youtube video on changing your name in Facebook and a very concise article on changing your name in Twitter

4)  Respond:  If you’re a brick-and-mortar entity, you know some are going to balk at change – it’s human nature.  The most important thing you can do is get clear on how you feel about your branding and then spread that vibe through every media channel you can think of – Facebook, Twitter, Yelp.  Make sure you respond promptly to your customer fan base with the reasons you made the change.  It doesn’t need to be a diatribe, something like, “Yes, we loved the success we had with ABC brand, but now that we offer so much more, we feel the new name, DEF expresses more of our products and services.  Thanks for the feedback, come back and see us and let us know in person how we can serve you in the future.”

Yes, it’s scary to rebrand, but sometimes it’s smart and necessary.  If you need help with this very big step, I’m all ears…

R.I.P. Google Keyword Tool

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One certainty in Internet Marketing – change is inevitable.  I had done a webinar a few months ago called, “Niche not Noise” and turned it into a free e-book and video to show people how to brainstorm new business ideas and hone in on keywords to trigger a search for customers to find you.  Recently, I learned the Google Keyword Tool was no longer available, except if you setup Google Adwords.  I’ve created a video tutorial on using the new Keyword Planner which you can watch in this little 5-min ditty below:

A tool I mention in this post is Market Samurai. I find it gives me A LOT more information than the Google Keyword tool ever did. I loved it so much, I signed up as an affiliate to share it with others who struggle with finding the right keywords. There’s a free trial you can sign up for HERE. I highly recommend this tool.

Please let me know of any tools you use out there so that I can pass it along to others.

In-Depth Content – An Excuse for Verbal Diarrhea?

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Is your Evergreen Content quality or just noise?
Is your Evergreen Content quality or just noise?

Have you ever endured a department head meeting monopolized by that one person who speaks for 20 minutes without saying much of anything?  That’s my concern with the latest In-Depth Content craze.  It’s original intent was to be a warehouse for white papers.  However, seeing the Twitter #indepthcontent hashtag bandied about shows some marketers are mistaking crap for content.  “How to write #indepth content that Google Loves” boasts one early adopter.  What about what you love?  What your readers love?  Yes, if it takes 900, 2000, 60k or 100k worth of words to say it, by all means, do it -but don’t write for the sake of writing what Google loves, write with a clear purpose in mind.

  • Write with Purpose:  What idea are you trying to get across?   Do you have a different point of view that’s interesting?
  • Write in Service:  Are you writing to solve a problem or are you writing for Google? The key to great content is knowing who you’re writing to and why you’re writing in the first place.
  • Write for Engagement:  Does your topic encourage conversation?
  • Write Strategically – Who are you talking to?  Are you sharing your writing with those who care?  Are you writing to those who need to hear your message?

Honing in on who you’re talking to makes the writing flow.  Writing in service comes from the heart – there is no better content than articles written from a place of service.  Writing for engagement is the art of the storyteller.  If  you’re stumped on how to make your content engaging,  go to your local diner sometime and just listen.  You’ll spot ’em a mile away; they have the whole lunch counter enthralled with a story that’s just as juicy as today’s bacon and cheeseburger.  It’s a story worth repeating to your family at home, at the water cooler at work, only now LinkedIn is the watercooler, Facebook’s your family at home.  Knowing who will be interested in your story is the basis of smart, strategic marketing.  If you need help figuring out your messaging, I’d love to work with you.

Afraid You’ll Tank Your Business? Read This…

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I just watched another business shuttered that I had built a website for a few months ago.  I remember asking her, “Do you have a customer base for this?”  “Oh yeah, lots of my friends are on board with it.”  Well, it’s great to have the support of your friends and family, but what about finding customers who need you?
Do you know why 90% of new businesses fail within the first 3 years? Because they didn’t do the most important step to starting a business online sensibly and affordably:
They didn’t research to see if their new business would have any customers.
Surprised?  Me too.  Just because you’re passionate about it doesn’t mean everybody else is.  Sure, it’s important to love what you do, but make sure people need what you do.
Ethically, I could no longer take people’s money to build websites for them that I knew had a high risk of failing.  So, I got busy working on a system that would help new and seasoned entrepreneurs  research an idea before ever spending a nickel on a website or marketing plan.  I put together “Niche not Noise” so that you can avoid that costly mistake.  You’ll learn:
  • The most strategic step in effective marketing that most businesses neglect
  • The 7-7-7 Principal – Learn how to turn your passion into profit.
  • Useful tools to research your business idea to see the number of potential customers searching for your particular product or service.
  • How your audience finds you.
  • How to create your USP (Unique Selling Point)
  • 8 Must-have tools to discover your special niche- and how to use those tools.

– BONUS:  Marketing Budget ROI Worksheet

The Marketing Budget ROI worksheet is really helpful.  I use it with new clients to figure out how much to spend for each new customer you bring in for your product or service.  You can find that in the back of the e-book.  This is all free – it’s a recording of a webinar I did on this topic a few months ago coupled with a 20-page excerpt from my book, “Niche not Noise.”  I just brought out the meat-and-potatoes so it’s a useful working document for you.  The upcoming book will be filled with interviews from clients and others who have successfully created and marketed a niche business.  I’m really excited about what I’ve learned so far and I wanted to get this in your hands as soon as I could so that more people can be enjoying their business instead of closing it down.

Are you ready?  I can’t wait for you to get started.  This is the most important step to business success.  Please set aside an hour to watch the video, review the e-book and take plenty of notes.  Believe me, one hour of your time is worth the investment; especially when you could save yourself from wasting thousands of dollars on a business that has no client base.

Don’t let me keep you – GO GET STARTED!

 Link to your copy of Niche Not Noise HERE