Category Archives: Marketing Coach

5 Things I love about being a Marketing Coach

“Find something you love to do, and you’ll never work a day in your life”
– Harvey MacKay

  1. I get to learn something new every day
  2. I am blessed to work with a variety of talented, dedicated and passionate people
  3. I am blessed to be able to “fill in some gaps” where small business owners need it
  4. I am blessed to take my 20+ years experience and help entrepreneurs
  5. I am blessed to have passion for what I do and I love doing it!

Tell me what you do and why you love doing it!

~KK

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Apology Not Found

Seth Godin recently wrote a blog post called The category of ‘without apology’. He stated that some companies produce their product without apology.  One of his examples “There are high margins in the business of high-end flatware, for people who don’t want to apologize for the lack of an asparagus fork when they have fancy company over.”

Whether your market segment is high-end asparagus forks, low-end furniture or moderately priced software you have a specific audience.  If you did not have an audience or buyers for your product you would not be producing it. So… continue producing it and marketing it – unapologetically.

If you need help in telling the story of your product “without apology” ask a marketing coach.

-KK

P.S. I subscribe to Seth Godin’s blog. Every day he makes me think about what I am doing.  He has written several business books that I believe are game changers for business including Linchpin. As a marketing and business coach I strongly suggest you subscribe to his blog (after you subscribe to mine of course).

5-Part Series on Affiliate Marketing Programs

5-Part Series on Affiliate Marketing Programs

Before making a decision if an affiliate marketing program is right for your small business, read each post and then consult your marketing coach for more information.

Affiliate Marketing Program Basics

There is so much information to share – this series barely scratches the surface.  That’s why a good marketing coach is a key element for a small business without a marketing staff.

Coaching everyday…

-KK

Have experience with affiliate marketing programs? What’s missing from the posts above? Comments are welcome!


LinkedIn Direct Ads

Testing 1-2-3

I am a PPC veteran.  This and a buck fifty might get me a cup of coffee.  The online marketing and social media landscape changes so rapidly that you can be an expert in something in six months and a dinosaur in 10 seconds.

In an effort to promote my business as a marketing coach I am running a small test campaign LinkedIn Direct Ads geo-targeted to small business owners in my local area.  This pool is very small (about 1000 LinkedIn members). 

Clearly defining your goal before begin any marketing campaign is critical.  I have two:

  • Gain more readers for this blog
  • Find additional clients for my coaching and consulting business

Four ad variations, four headlines and two images are being tested in this campaign.  It has been up for about 24 hours and three of the four ad variations have about 250 impressions each- so far no clicks. I just added the fourth variation based on my results to date.  At some point I will review my campaign and revise where needed.  The method of review and revise for all types of marketing campaigns is a key element for success. 

As I mentioned my CTR (click through rate) is currently zero.  Here are some potential reasons why this is the case. Part of my review and revise methodology is to look at this list and determine what fits given all the factors involved.

Some possible reasons could be:

  • My ads are not compelling enough to illicit the desired response
  • My audience pool is too small
  • LinkedIn is not the right advertising venue for my services
  • The campaign has not had enough time for my audience to feel compelled to click through
  • A combination of any of these reasons
  • A multitude of other reasons

As a PPC veteran I am very aware that there are many reasons why a campaign might succeed or fail.  Sometimes it is about trial and error.  It helps when you have an experienced marketing professional who can coach you along the way.  If you are the coach you had better take your own advice.

I’ll keep you posted…

-KK


Affiliate Marketing Program Basics: Managed vs. Self-Managed (Post 5 of 5)

Time v. Money 

Experience v. Learning Curve

 

Choosing the right management option along with choosing the right affiliate network are key elements to the success of your program.

Once you have done the research, educated yourself on the various affiliate marketing options you will need to decide if you plan to manage the program internally or have it managed by your affiliate network provider.   

Note for clarity –I am talking about managed vs. self-managed using an affiliate network provider like the ones discussed in Post #4

The term “self-managed” can also apply to affiliate tracking software one can install on their site and build an affiliate program completely from the ground up.  The benefit of going with a network is that they already have publishers and merchants as well as experience and support for the affiliate rookie.

Self-Managed

Self-managed means that you, someone in your organization, or your marketing coach will manage all aspects of your affiliate marketing program.  This includes everything from the launch of your program to the daily operations. There is a substantial time commitment involved in getting the affiliate program set up properly, recruiting publishers to join your network, managing the commissions and product offerings. 

Even with the self-managed option you can get assistance from the program provider during the initial set up.  Do not hesitate to call on your program provider to share their expertise in recruiting publishers and optimizing your campaign.  Since most program fees are based on a percentage of sales it is still in their best interest to make sure you succeed.

Managed Program

A managed program (by your affiliate program network) typically includes an account manager assigned to manage the daily workings of the program, facilitate publisher recruiting and staying on top of ad expirations, product offerings, etc.

Managed programs relieve the burden of necessary daily tasks.  However, in my experience, you still want someone within your organization to provide management oversight for the program.

Decision Time

Saving money is a real benefit of managing the program internally.  However many affiliate networks do not offer managed programs for small merchants.  By managing the program yourself you can save on the management fees (which can include flat rates, minimum rates and percentage of sales).  You will pay a premium for the managed version, however if you do not have the right person who can devote the necessary time to building your program then the managed version would be worthwhile.

Properly planned and managed affiliate programs may become an additional revenue stream for your business. Make sure you understand all the available management options (and the value-added options) before you choose an affiliate network program provider.  As always, consult your marketing coach during the selection process.  He or she can help you avoid the pitfalls and work towards making an affiliate program a profitable revenue stream for your business.

Helping you get affiliated…

-KK


I Can’t Afford That!

Brand Consistency on a Budget

As a small business owner it is possible to create a comprehensive marketing strategy with a consistent look & feel that matches your brand and does not break the bank.  I am currently executing a marketing strategy for a small business client which includes a social media component. 

Here is an overview of the approach:

  1. Create website (includes new logo, corporate colors, etc.)
  2. Create Twitter account (created custom background and colors to compliment the website).  Promote branding messages through Tweets (be careful not to over do this).
  3. Create blog (using WordPress.com). (Custom header and background colors to compliment the web site).
  4. Leverage existing LinkedIn account.  Incorporate new logo and promote branding messages through updates.
  5. Create Facebook Page with new logo. Promote branding messages through updates.
    1. Next step will be to create a unique tab for her business that can take a “basic” Facebook page to another level. Click for Skittles example
Note: all elements are linked to each other so that the user can easily get from Facebook, to the blog, to LinkedIn, etc.

Once all the components of the strategy are live I will do a case study to show the final result and include a budget review. In the meantime, call your marketing coach to help you plan and execute an achievable strategy for you!  Don’t have one? Get one, I high recommend it!

This is the basic overview.  More details to follow on Friday’s post. Stay tuned!

-KK


Throwing up Facebook

Throwing up a Facebook page is not a strategy

Even a great Facebook page by itself is not a strategy. It is a component of your Social Media plan which is only one component of your overall marketing strategy

There have been many bloggers recently talking about examples of great Facebook pages. Check out this blogger’s Top 35 list from July 30. Most are well-known brands with deeper pockets than the average small business but that does not mean pages for small businesses have to be boring.

Included on this list is BlackBerry. I like their page because it integrates a tool accessible to everyone: YouTube.  A small business could incorporate a YouTube video and some well done graphics to create an attractive, dynamic Facebook page.   

As mentioned frequently in this blog, if you need help with your marketing strategy, including your Facebook page, contact a marketing coach/professional. They can help you create and execute a solid strategy and help you avoid the pitfalls of going down the wrong path.

I am continually looking for ways to improve the effectiveness of Facebook.  If you have a success story to share please post a comment.

Always looking to improve…

-KK


Listening or Spouting Solutions

Not every marketing coach or firm is a good fit for every client.  As a small business owner it is important to look for a marketing professional who has marketing experience.   More importantly, however, is to find a competent professional with whom you have “synergy”.  An overused word, yes, but an effective description nonetheless.

If you cannot get “on the same page” with your marketing team (internal or external) chances are you will not have an effective marketing strategy in the end.

A key element in the planning and execution of an effective marketing strategy or campaign is communication.  If your marketing coach cannot communicate well with you then how will they communicate well with your audience?

Ask yourself these questions to see if you and your marketing coach are on the same page:

  1. Is he or she asking questions about your business? (this is basic stuff)
  2. Is he or she asking what your passions are? Are you asked about what drives you to do what you do?
  3. Is he or she actually listening to your answers or just spouting off “solutions” before understanding the entire picture of your organization?
  4. Is he or she communicating with you during the process (during building of the strategy or during campaigns)?
  5. Add your questions here…

There are many more questions that can be added to the list. The point is that your campaigns can be wildly successful if you have a marketing coach who understands you and your company and keeps the lines of communication flowing in both directions.

Looking for synergy…

-KK


Money in the Trash

Marketing and advertising can be difficult to measure. Especially campaigns designed to increase awareness for a brand. However, there are success metrics that every company can put in place to help determine the ROI.  If you are not measuring your marketing efforts in at least come way then you might as well open the trash can and just throw the money you are spending directly into it.   

Marketing is part art and part science.  Both parts are necessary.  A key element to an effective marketing strategy is measurement.  Here is a brief overview of my process for measuring success of a campaign.

  1. Create the campaign plan (many steps in this process not being discussed here today)
    1. Include how you plan to measure the success of that campaign
  2. Review the campaign success during the campaign whenever possible
  3. Revise the campaign strategy if it is not meeting the success criteria
    1. Or revise the strategy for the next time

The point is the review and revise method can save countless dollars spent and time wasted on ineffective strategies that do not yield the desired results.

Mini Case Sudy: This morning I was talking to a business consultant who said he had a client that was spending $30k/year on a certain type of advertising.  He just assumed it was bringing him business. He began to really look at where his business was coming from and none of it was coming from the advertising investment.  This is an extreme example of what can happen if your organization does not have success metrics in place and a lesson we can all take to heart.

If you need help in figuring out ways to measure the success of your marketing efforts talk to a marketing professional who can coach you through the process.

Always revising…

-KK


What Should I Twitter?

What Should I Twitter?  I have nothing to say.

Sure you have something to say! When asked this question I typically respond with another question. Why do you want to Twitter? On Tuesday’s blog I offered 5 reasons to Twitter.  These can help answer the “why” question. If your business goal is to connect with your audience (clients, prospects, colleagues, etc.) then consider these suggestions on what you should Tweet.

  1. Join the conversation! (you might learn and/or contribute something)
  2. Offer information or insight (you may have a pearl of wisdom that one of your followers needs to read)
  3. Pass along interesting articles (by passing along great articles you read, you may help someone else)
  4. Talk about conferences or meetings you attend (people who respect you may want to check out what conferences you attend)
  5. Talk about business meetings you attended and mention who was in the meeting (especially if they are on twitter too)
  6. Talk about business deals you recently signed (if they can be discussed publicly)
  7. Talk about something you have learned in business, life, parenting, whatever (this can connect you to your readers)
  8. Insert your reason here

Still need more help with this Twitter or social media thing?  Contact a marketing coach to help get you started!

Tweet On!

-KK


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