Starting up a business or revamping a business is a daunting task no matter how you slice it. Here are just a few reasons why many business owners choose to work with us as their business coach……
Establishing the Initial Game Plan
Most if not all clients who come to us with a desire for a start up business or revamping their existing business and website only know that they want / need / desire to start up or revamp their business. They don’t really know what needs to be done. It is our job as a responsible service provider to educate the client as to what will need doing, give them guidance every step of the way, and truly care about the client’s business. Not to see them as just another website project that comes with an inflated price tag.
There are many many website hosting companies out there. Some privately owned, some big box names. There exists a wide variety of offerings within each package, with varying degrees of what’s included in the website hosting package. The average business owner will not really know which company or package to choose from as it’s information overload and confusing. Once we assess our clients wish list, we also question them about where they want to be as a business when they grow up, and what is their current budget for this, among other things. This helps us to recommend the appropriate plan / package for them.
Again, it is imperative that the business coach really understands and cares about the clients business so that the appropriate, relevant website development plan can be designed and implemented. Use of color psychology when choosing colors, style, layout, ease of use for their customers, professional yet comfortable look, non-cookie cutter design, and relevant professional branding that can also be implemented across the board on social media and printed marketing items such as business cards, coupon cards, rack cards, signs, etc. are hugely important. This is all a process, none of which can be decided on or implemented overnight.
Designing your branding – logo, social media headers, website header, and other printed promotional material – is a time and labor intensive task that is really, at the end of the day, a labor of love for the designer so that the branding is done correctly, is cohesive to use across the board, and the client is happy. There is nothing worse than shabbily designed artwork that is not a piece of cohesive branding. When we design this branding artwork, it’s RGB for any website usage, and CMYK for all printed promotional materials, and we explain this to our clients so that they understand the difference. It is imperative that whichever print house is being used, the proof must be approved by the customer! Believe it or not, there are some examples of poor customer service out there that have printed up the product despite the customer not being 100% on board with the proof. Horror stories abound.
Shopping Cart Integration
Which shopping cart venue to use is of huge importance! There are many shopping carts out there, and not all of them are appropriate for all clients and all selling situations. Not only is price a factor (for those who choose big box carts that charge a monthly fee), but also ease of use for both the client but also their prospective customers. If the client wants to manage the order processing themselves, they need to be able to understand how the cart works and what they need to do to process and fulfill orders. We explain this to our clients and walk them through it, not just once but several times as need be until it “sticks”.
Best Way of Shipping Your Products
This is another sticky area that needs to be researched thoroughly and explained to the client. Not every product fits into a small bubble wrap mailer and can be shipped out for less than $3!!! Some products are larger, and may require research for best rates from USPS, UPS and FEDEX. Shipping close to home is one price, shipping across the country is another and can be quite expensive based up weight, and box dimensions. None of this is clear cut by any stretch of the imagination and frequently our clients need hand holding while we help them figure out the best most cost effective way of shipping.
Email Newsletter Campaigns
Gathering email addresses in a legally acceptable way is so important for a business! The client needs to understand they simply cannot buy email lists, it is illegal!!! It goes against the Federal CAN-SPAM Act, which prohibits sending unsolicited emails. Most if not all email services such as Mail Chimp, Constant Contact and the like have an opt in and an opt out function. Meaning, people can sign up for your email newsletter on your website or on social media or a landing page, and they also have the right to unsubscribe as well. As a technicality, you CAN buy an email list, but if you use it to send out unsolicited email campaigns that these people did NOT subscribe to, then you are breaking a Federal law.
Social Media Marketing
Generally, for our clients, social media marketing revolves around Facebook and Instagram. Occasionally a client will want us to manage their Pinterest business account for them, but that is rare. If they also use Twitter or LinkedIn, that is something they will handle on their own. Facebook and Instagram require business accounts, not personal pages, and we link them together so that when we post on Instagram it also shares automatically to Facebook. The same with videos, we post on IG TV and share directly to Facebook automatically. We also create YouTube channels for clients to showcase their videos, audio files, and their Zoom interviews.
Hashtags, Keywords, and Tags
In the old days, keywords were king. This changed due to excessive use of keywords that resulted in ridiculous keyword spamming. Today’s equivalents of keywords are tags and hashtags. Their are product tags, blog post tags, and social media hashtags. Product tags and blog post tags give our clients double the boost for their money since we do our due diligence and use 80% different tags even when blogging about a new product. Yet they get out there in the search engines twice, giving them double bang for their buck. Social media hashtags for their business are assigned once we have conducted the research as to which hashtags are most relevant and important to promote their individual business.
We set up a Google Analytics account for every client, give them access to it, and if they choose to get involved and want to learn more, we educate them on various points. Most clients do not want to get into the nitty gritty of a Google Analytics account, but they do want to know where the traffic is coming from, what search terms people use to find them, etc. We utilize this information to periodically audit the client website and implement verbiage changes that are more in line with the search terms that are bringing their website up. If the client requests it we set up goals and sales funnels to track.
Social Media Ad Campaigns
Periodically running a social media ad campaign has been found to not only be very cost effective, but also targets the desired audience and is a great mechanism for gaining eyeballs to the client website or at minimum to their social media account. We consult with the client about their desired goals with this, and then design the ad campaign accordingly. This is not something that can just be slapped up there quickly without due diligence and knowledge of the process otherwise the clients money is being wasted. No one wants that!!
Audience Capture, Sales Funnel
Audience capture and development of a sales funnel – this is all about the eyeballs. We have developed a proven method of generating and capturing leads, defining the target audience, and marketing to said audience in such a way as to attract the eyeballs and of course getting the contact information. Each plan is individually geared towards each of our clients wants, needs and wishes for their business.
Many times clients come to us to create a business plan. You should actually create a business plan in the beginning stages of pulling your new start up business together or when you decide you want to revamp your business. However, that being said, defining a business plan at any stage of the operation is better than operating blindly with no plan at all. The creation of a business plan helps you to define what you’re doing, where you are going, where you want to be, and the tasks and steps needed to get there. It provides for an orderly transition from where you are now to moving forward as your business evolves.