Back to School – Back to Business!

I don’t know about you, but my social media feed has been filled with back to school photos from family and friends. My kids are older, and back to school has lost the fun it used to have, but I love seeing my friends reach the milestones I did! Nothing like smiling faces and new backpacks!

With the kids starting a new school year, our focus shifts back to business and doing away with the summer slowdown. Back to school is the perfect time to review your goals and refresh your business!

Here are our top 10 Back to Business Essentials!

1. Has your business grown or changed structure over the last year – speak with a tax professional to be sure that you’re meeting the requirements and filing the appropriate paperwork.

2. Take a good look at your schedule, are you overextending yourself? Are you meeting your personal and professional commitments? How are you spending your time, and could you be spending your time more efficiently?

3. Is it time for some support? Maybe it’s an in-house personal assistant, a copywriter, social media guru, or just someone to lean on – don’t wait until its too late and you’re missing commitments!

4. Is your website up to date? When was the last time you re-vamped your copy and images? Do all of your links work the way they should? Is your site mobile friendly and GDPR compliant? Not sure where to start? Send us an email with a link to your site; we’re happy to take a quick peek around and provide feedback to get you back on track.

5. When was the last time you increased your rates? September is the perfect time to consider raising your rates and provide notice to your existing clients of a rate change for the coming year.

6. Have you been keeping up with social media? Do you post regularly (text, video or pictures)? Is your blog up to date? Not sure what to write, check out our blog about creating a content calendar for ideas.

7. When was the last time you launched a new product service? Do you have some custom programs that you currently offer clients, that would have a wider appeal? Maybe its time to do an official launch and reach a wider audience?

8. Speaking of a wider audience – what tools are you using to bring in new leads? Are you looking for some fresh ideas? Download our lead magnet whitepaper, or email us to brainstorm the best lead magnets for your business!

9. Research your competition – what products and services are they offering, and at what price point? Are you in line with their offerings?

10. Get out and network! Summer slowdown is over! Networking is fantastic for business, not just to generate leads, and foster connections, but networking is great for practicing your elevator pitch and staying current with trends. You never know what you’ll learn!

Back to school means back to business! Get out there and get inspired again! Learn something new! Stuck? We’re here to help! Drop us an email for a complimentary consultation. No matter where you are in your business right now, we can help guide you to where you want to be!

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Features and Benefits – Why Understanding the Difference Is Crucial for Your Business

To say that marketing your company has changed from even ten years ago feels a bit like a cliché. We all know that the marketing landscape has changed – I prefer to look at it as “enhanced” because many traditional marketing channels remain powerful (word of mouth for example). The enhancement comes from the introduction of digital marketing channels (Social Media, or your website), with the added complexity of greater competition. Those who sell physical products compete against Amazon and their comprehensive distribution channels.

Many of our clients are service-based, and since many of these services can be delivered online/virtually – the pool of competition is global. Your clients are shopping online for everything (products and services alike), and making their buying decisions based on what they read.

How can you make your online presence more powerful?

First and foremost, you need a comprehensive Social Media strategy across as many channels as appropriate. Creating content and delivering it in a prompt manner that is predictable (in that it’s regular) and spontaneous (responding to others) is essential. Not all of your clients will find you on your website.

But ultimately, you want to direct your prospects to your website, because that’s where they can sign up for your newsletter list, buy products or services, and overall learn more about you. For this reason, your digital marketing copy needs to be effective and concise.

Here are two tips:

Understand your prospect – know who they are, what they’re experiencing right now which is causing them to search for you, and what their life will be like after working with you – but also what it will be like if they don’t seek change now. This is huge – if you know what they’re looking for and how they’re feeling, right now, you’ll know how to write directly to them.
Focus on the benefits, not features, of your products/services.

What does this mean?

“Features” are facts, where “benefits” begin to focus on the emotional need that this feature addresses. How do you get to the heart of benefits? Back in high school English class, we learned the “so what” test. For every point we raised, we asked ourselves “so what” – this can make your writing more concise, if the sentence you’re writing doesn’t directly relate to the point you’re trying to write (“so what”), then it can be deleted.

For online copy, we use this same technique to talk about the meaning of a feature – here’s an example using a tooth whitening kit:

Feature – Whitens teeth in 7 days with regular use

Benefit – Have a more dazzling smile before date night this weekend! Or Look younger, in just a week, with a whiter smile.

We all want to look younger, and dazzle! Sounds a lot more persuasive than “regular use.”

How do you make your benefits relevant to your prospect? By understanding them. Using our tooth whitening kit as an example, if you know that your prospect is self-conscious about their smile, and doesn’t feel as young and attractive as they used to, perhaps they’ve just re-entered the dating scene and have insecurities around that. Understanding this helps you speak directly to their needs.