Kathleen Ann Presentation to Coach Connect group

Testimonials are hands down the most powerful tool in your arsenal for creating trust and value in you and your offering. On the flip side, they are also one of the most underutilized in most businesses.

If you don’t already have a strategy to collect and use testimonials in your marketing mix then you are leaving a lot of money on the table.  They’re powerful because you’re not blowing your own trumpet. Someone else is giving you a good report and it’s this third-party validation that overcomes scepticism and carries more weight than anything you could possibly say about yourself.

There are really 3 reasons why you need them and fully understanding these will give you all the motivation you need to become an active collector and user of testimonials in all your marketing messages.

The obvious one is logic and most people don’t think beyond the obvious to capitalize on the full potential.  There’s also an emotional and energetic reason. These work synergistically to create the power that great testimonials deliver.

Let’s look at each separately.

1. Logical reason

Logic is really about providing proof or evidence that you are credible, reliable and will do what you say. Often called social proof. It’s the acknowledgement from other people that they have experienced what you are offering and had the results you promised.  This proof is often in the form of specific and measurable results that support the before and after picture you are painting.

2. Emotional reason

We know that people buy on emotion then back this up with logic. Testimonials stir the powerful emotion of desire.  Desire to be, to do, to have like the person giving the testimonial. That household phrase “I’ll have what she’s having” made famous by the film When Harry Met Sally, says it all. Used well, the reader can easily picture herself having those same results so there’s no need for hard sell when you’re pushing those hot buttons of desire.

3. Energetic reason

The last important reason to have testimonials is more subtle which means it’s deceptively powerful but no less effective than logic and emotion. It’s about the energy created in building your story through others that gently pulls the reader in.  What happens for the reader is they lean in because they want to be included.  There’s a feeling of comfort and belonging that does not need to be addressed specifically in words.  It’s the underlying attraction to want to associate with you and your tribe of like mind

So become a collector of testimonials. Treat them like the gold nuggets they are and fossick and mine for them to deposit in your testimonial bank. You can never have too many of them and you can exploit all the mediums of copy, audio and video to power up your marketing.

Here’s what Lorraine Makasini, Organiser of Coach and Connect had to say after I presented to the group. (pictured)

“If you’re looking for a speaker or content provider then I would highly recommend Kathleen Ann from Power Up Your Marketing. Kathleen presented “How to Charge What You’re Worth & Get It” to our Coach & Connect group and was super impressive in her delivery. Kathleen was very generous with her knowledge and members were delighted to get some practical advice that they could implement immediately. However, what really impressed me as the event organiser was how easy Kathleen made it to promote her. She’s super organised and provided plenty of promotional copy and images way ahead of time and also supported by sharing across her own networks as well.”

Check out some others here 

Business owners networking

Some people love networking, but for others, the mere thought can bring them out in hives and increase their pulse rate!

All the same networking is an essential part of the marketing mix. And as a business owner you know you have to get out there at some point, in some way, and physically meet other business owners in order for your business to succeed.

If business networking is right up there with “root canal work” or “cleaning out the garage” as “Things I’d Love to Avoid Forever,” try implementing the following 11 tips so you can rock your networking and your business marketing efforts!

  1. Take Stock and Figure Out Your Main Block

Whatever the main source of your discomfort, take a few steps ahead of time to compensate for your insecurities. I really will help you bolster your confidence so you can walk into your event with your head held high.

If it’s your appearance, invest in a new outfit or update your hairstyle. If it’s your conversational skills, read up on a handful of current events just before you go. If you fear being a “newbie” among seasoned pros, craft a few questions you can ask about other people’s businesses and let them do the talking.

  1. Step Away From Your Computer

Especially for business owners who work from home, it becomes all too easy to hide behind the computer screen and shy away from venturing out into the real world.

But marketing is most effective when it is about real, actual relationships with real, actual people—not just the versions of ourselves we present online.

  1. Start Small

 If larger groups intimidate you, counteract the intimidation factor by starting small. Meet-ups are excellent choices for reluctant networkers. Once you’ve built up a comfort level with small events, you can try stepping up into larger gatherings.

Also look for civic and interest groups organized around topics that are already of interest to you. If you have a natural affinity for the group’s purpose or mission, you’re more likely to find common ground with other participants.

  1. Set Small, Realistic Goals

As with any business-related activity, it’s smart to set some goals for yourself before an event. But forget goals like “I’m going to get two new clients from this function.” Instead, set some small, realistic networking goals, such as “I will engage in at least two conversations with people I don’t already know.” Doing so will ease your fears, and give you a confidence boost for the next event.

  1. Think “Kindergarten”

Almost everything you need to know about successful networking, you probably already learned in kindergarten. Be considerate, use good manners, show interest in others, and listen more than you speak.

  1. Forget the Elevator Pitch

The well-intentioned elevator pitch sounds odd and contrived to most people. Instead, when you’re asked the inevitable “What do you do?” question, keep to the basics: what you do and who you do it for. That’s it. Use plain English, and avoid embellishing with emotional or “market-ese” words.

  1. Keep It Social and Personal

People don’t typically respond to professionalism in a social atmosphere. Instead, try forgetting the business context once you’re actually in the room. Focus instead on the social interaction itself—more specifically, on the person with whom you’re speaking.

One of the best questions you can ask is “How Can I Help You?” and see if there’s anything you can do to support them. Naturally, if you’re in the right room, that person will ask you the same thing.

  1. Make a Habit of It

Once you’ve broken the ice and successfully navigated one event, keep this in mind: One networking event does not a networker make! It’s a good start, though.

To get results, however, you need to make networking a habit. Decide on a realistic, regular goal—for instance, two or three events a month.

In fact, now that you’ve got the hang of networking do your research and find an established networking group that meets regularly and sign up to become a member. Make sure the group has a structured agenda focused on maximizing your results so you’re not just wasting time.

  1. Build Referral Partnerships

Remember, no-one likes to be sold to so rather than sell to the room ask if you can be connected to an ideal referral partner. This would be someone who is having the same conversations with their clients as you are but does not offer the same services. For instance, a Book Keeper and an Accountant could service the same clients and not compete with each other

  1. Business Cards Are Not Collectibles

Business cards are not for collecting. Instead, put those cards to use. Enter each new contact into your CRM as soon as possible after the event, and add some personal notes about where you met that person, what you discussed and any personal details you learned.

  1. Follow Up!

Finally, don’t forget to follow up! Successful marketing is about building long term relationships. Simply entering information into your contacts isn’t enough.

You don’t have to take every single person you meet out for lunch. You can follow up in smaller ways. Connect with your new contacts on social media, leave a comment on one of their blog posts, or forward something you think would be of interest to them via email.        

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delivering a presentationDelivering a great presentation is one of the most effective marketing strategies available to the solopreneur to communicate your own message to a rapt crowd.

And yet far too many solopreneurs shy away from presentation opportunities due to a fear of public speaking or putting themselves “out there” before an audience of people that may or may not receive them warmly.

Fortunately, there are effective ways of overcoming those fears so you can put a presentation to work for your business.

There are three stages of a great presentation to ensure a successful, confidence-building experience when you speak.

1.  Preparing Your Presentation

• Start as early as you possibly can—months in advance, if at all possible. There’s a reason the list of tips for this section is much longer than for the two sections that follow it. That’s because when it comes to presentations, preparation is everything!

• Tailor your topic to your audience. If you’re given a specific topic, try to find out as much as possible about the people who will be in attendance and brainstorm possible angles on that subject that will speak most directly to them.

• Narrow your focus: aim for no more than three main points to be communicated. The more tightly you can narrow your presentation to the most pressing points, the better you’ll be able to capture and keep the audience’s attention.

• Create a short, 15- to 20-word summary of your main point. This isn’t necessarily something you’ll end up using verbatim in your presentation (although you can if it’s particularly effective). It’s more a way to check your focus. If you can’t state your message succinctly, keep narrowing it down further.

• Know your stuff. Audiences want to feel confident in the speaker’s expertise. That’s not to say you need academic credentials or direct experience in a particular topic in order to develop a strong presentation, but you should definitely aim to know more than you actually include in your presentation.

• When it comes to structure, think in terms of a story. Audiences have no interest in hearing a boring recitation of facts, statistics and vague generalizations. The single most effective way to entertain and communicate an important message is to tell a story. Find your storyline as soon as possible, and work it into your presentation’s structure.

• As you organize your research, keep a separate list of creative ideas for each main point. These ideas can be shorter stories or vignettes, quotes, images, works of art, movies, novels, cartoons, poems—just about anything can be a creative touchstone for your presentation. Be over-inclusive with this list. You don’t necessarily have to incorporate them all into your final presentation. You can pick the most effective ideas once your plan is more fully fleshed out.

• Choose a strong opener. What makes videos and memes go viral? The element of surprise. Pick something—a story, a statistic, etc.—that will surprise your audience, and open with it.

• Avoid jokes, but include humour. It’s almost always a bad idea to write actual jokes into your presentation. They so often fail in the heat of the moment. Humour, on the other hand, shouldn’t be shied away from, even in a “professional” setting. Aim for gentle humour—self-deprecating, when appropriate, and mild. You want the chuckle of recognition, not an audience howling with laughter.

• Use as few statistics and numbers as possible. Reinforce the important figures on your slides, and chuck the rest. Too many numbers will numb your audience to your main message.

• Keep slides visual, spare of text, and impactful. Long gone, we hope, are the days of nested bulleted lists on slides crammed with tiny text. Follow the “10-20-30” rule if you like: 10 slides, 20 minutes for presentation in total, with no text on any slide less than 30 pts in size.

• Use images where appropriate. A picture is, in fact, worth 1,000 words. In the right places, images can communicate much more effectively than even the loftiest oratory, because they communicate on an immediate, emotional level.

2.  Rehearsing Your Presentation

You’ll be doing some revising and refining of your presentation’s substance as you rehearse, but once you have a solid flow of slides and talking points, it’s time to start rehearsing the presentation by putting it all together.

• There is absolutely no such thing as being over-rehearsed. Practice as often as you can. That being said, however…

• Keep connected to the emotional “through-line” of your presentation. This will help keep you from sounding “over-rehearsed” to your audience. (And never, ever read your presentation directly!)

• Practice as if you’re speaking to three people, not an auditorium crammed with people. This helps you keep your tone conversational. Why three people? If you imagine them placed individually in the left, centre and right sections respectively, you’ll develop the habit of delivering your presentation with a balanced focal point, shifting from each section to the next in a natural way. This will translate to the larger room as a confident presentation manner.

• As you practice, note the natural, logical places in your presentation for taking breaths and sips of water. Keep those in mind as you deliver your presentation for the audience.

• S-l-o-w d-o-w-n. You’ll quite naturally speed up a little on the day of the presentation due to the energy surge you’ll undoubtedly experience. If you practice in a deliberately slowed-down pace, that little bump in speed will put you at just the right pace.

• If there will be a Q&A session after your presentation, practice that, too! Enlist a few friends to listen to your rehearsal and throw questions at you so you can prepare how you’ll respond to them. By the way, it’s a good idea to hold a few ideas in reserve from your presentation; in case your audience is slow to start asking questions, you’ll have a few you can raise yourself to get them going.

• Plan your wardrobe, right down to your shoes. Avoid jewellery that jangles or clanks, which can distract you and your audience. Choose shoes with quiet soles so that you’ll be free to move around.

3.  Delivering Your Presentation

The day before and the day of your presentation will undoubtedly be fairly high-stress ones. This is not the time to radically reinvent your presentation out of panic or fear that the audience “won’t get it” or will start heckling you! Now’s the time to be confident in your preparation and rehearsal process, and make sure you’re in the best shape possible for your performance, by following these tips.

• Don’t over-indulge in food or drink the night before or the day of the presentation. This is not the time to throw your digestive system into turmoil!

• Try to get adequate sleep the night before. A good night’s sleep is the single best thing you can do to optimize your chances for a successful presentation.

• If at all possible, run through your presentation at least once in the actual room with the technology you’ll be using. Nothing can prepare you for what it will really be like better than a “dress rehearsal.”

• Before you take the stage, take a few deep, cleansing breaths and mentally set your intention. This will help stabilize your heart rate and keep your breathing from becoming too fast and shallow. Speaking of breathing…

• Remember to breathe from your diaphragm during the speech. Don’t know what that means? Here’s how to do it: lie down on your bed, with your hands spread over the centre of your abdomen. Without straining or being too deliberate, take a deep breath. You should feel your hands move up and out, and your stomach area expand. Breathe this way several times so that you can fully experience what that’s like. Then stand up, and put your hands back on your abdomen in the same place. Breathe again several times, trying to keep that same dynamic—hands moving out and up, abdomen expanding. This is absolutely the most effective way to prevent excess physical stress, which can heighten nerves, make your voice thin and reedy, and even cause you to get light-headed or even pass out!

Lastly, try to truly enjoy the experience. Look for what’s good and right and fun. When you’re at ease and having a good time, that translates to the audience. Pretty soon you’ll be a sort after master at delivering a great presentation.

Business man pointing to client testimonialsWhile most people know the value of client testimonials they often miss the opportunity to get great testimonials, designed to help them make more sales.

You don’t want to end up with ‘nice-guy’ or ‘nice-gal’ testimonials that say ‘nice’ things about you but fail to show others why they should do business with you as well. After all that’s the point, isn’t it? To attract others who are looking for the same results?

So, what you really need is results-based testimonials that are written in first person.  Or you can use a case studies which are pretty much the same thing  only they are written in third person. I recommend you have a mix of both types because that will add variety.

Think of testimonials as a short ‘before and after story’ or ‘once I was lost….and now I’m found’ and you’ll quickly see that it’s not all about you!

Like all good stories there’s a structure and the good news is there are only 3 sections to structure a winning results-based testimonial or case study.

Here they are…..

Section 1

Describe their problem or challenge before they began working with you (this is the before story).

How bad was it? And don’t hold back – these are real life situations so the worse the problem the better!

Section 2

What did they learn or do as a result of working with you?

Take care here not to reveal the specifics of what you did with your client or you run the risk of people thinking ‘I already know that’ – you don’t want them to have that reaction.  Rather you want to have them thinking ‘how did she do that?’

Section 3

The end result (this is the after story)

What got to happen for your client as a result of what they learned or did after working with you?

You need to make this as quantifiable as you can. You can put a figure or percentage on almost anything so always use measurable, specific results in your example.

Here’s an example using a professional organizer who we’ll call Sally, of what you’ll achieve when you put it all together.

“My office was in such a mess I couldn’t find anything in a hurry. So I was wasting a lot of time and energy. I certainly didn’t want to bring my clients there because I was too embarrassed about the clutter.

Thanks to Sally’s organizing skills I learned how to quickly clean up the mess as well as how to get and stay organized so I won’t slip back into bad habits. It’s so much easier than I could have imagined.

Now, I can put my hands on everything in less than a minute, my productivity has gone up by at least 50% plus I’ve seen a welcome jump in my revenue of $5,000 this month.”

My tip is to ask all your clients if they would like to help you by providing a testimonial. People love to help other people and I’ve never been refused.

You can make it easy for them by giving them these guidelines or better still, offer to write it for them for their approval. This will save them time and effort and guarantee you get a winning testimonial to help you make more sales.

You can never have too many results-based testimonials and you can exploit all the mediums of written copy, audio and video to power up your marketing.

Newsletter as a list building strategy

One way to build your list and gain new leads is through newsletters. People want good information. If the seekers are looking for something in your niche, you want them to find you.

Wouldn’t it be great to get the information you need delivered right to your inbox? You can, or at least your readers can if you create a newsletter.

Your website contains content that will help draw your target market to you. You use keywords (that you’ve carefully researched), catchy headlines and other tricks to provide interesting tidbits for your readers. Do you have some awesome marketing or technology tips for your target market? Save those for the newsletter.

Is it worth doing a Newsletter?

What makes a newsletter so special? It gives the reader more detailed information than they can find on your website. You can upsell it as being exclusively for subscribers. That alone can get your readers to opt-in for it and also tell their friends. Make sure to include a ‘share’ link to make this quick and simple.

You can also be more personal in a newsletter. And depending on the frequency, you have a regular opportunity to share time sensitive information. It’s an important element of an online marketing campaign as it provides another channel to reach your audience.

What are the components of a newsletter?

It varies, but the more features or sections you add, the more attractive it will be. Here are a few ideas you could use:

  • Contest entries
  • Preview new products before the general public
  • Discount coupons
  • Letters from you
  • Tips and articles
  • Pictures
  • Your calendar of events
  • Promote special events

Newsletter Delivery

Newsletters are usually delivered the same time each week, fortnight or month. I recommend at least twice a month. You can set your newsletters up to be delivered through your autoresponder service so your subscribers get them on your set schedule.

Newsletter Format Options

Newsletters can be created in a couple of different ways. Some people have their entire email be their newsletter, most often using a branded template. It is a one-page piece that includes links to areas on your website where they can find more information. If it is a contest entry, a link will bring them to the landing page where they can enter and read up on the contest particulars. That page can also link to other offers they may be interested in such as specials on products, workshops or courses.

Others post emails that tell you the newest newsletter is available. Subscribers click a link that takes them to a “subscriber only” area of your website. Here they can read and download the newest newsletter. Also let them know that they can access your archive of newsletters that were created before they found your site. Creating timeless content makes these past pieces valuable months or years later.

Opening rates

Just like emails, you can track and measure the opening rates of your newsletters. The percentage is useful feedback and you can even see who has opened it and what links they have clicked on. Depending on the sophistication of your autoresponder you can use this information to segment your list. This will allow you to really fine tune and target your email campaigns to increase your results.

Want to build your list? Offer newsletters to readers as part of their subscription. By including some of the information above, readers can stay connected in such a way that eventually leads to recurrent sales.

 

Editorial CalendarCould an editorial calendar be your ultimate secret weapon? Well, if you’re producing any kind of content the answer is YES! If you’re creating and distributing newsletters, blog posts, social shares, graphics, podcasts, webinars, tweets and/or videos—to market your coaching business, you’ll know it can get pretty complicated.

The print publication industry originally developed the concept of Editorial calendars. These were implemented to provide busy editors and publishers an at-a-glance overview of each issue as it developed.

Because magazine issues most often required numerous team members working over several months, editors needed a document that gathered and recorded specific, relevant information. Recording each piece of staff-produced content in each issue and the status of that content’s development gave editors the control they needed.

Content marketers and bloggers began adopting the concept over the past decade and you can do this too. The benefits editorial calendars bring to the table more than justify the additional time and effort it takes to create one and keep it current. A well-structured, thoughtful editorial calendar benefits any content marketer:

  • Allows you to take advantage of holidays and special event days;
  • Encourages you to stick to a regular publishing schedule;
  • Enables you to strategize your content planning; and
  • Helps you to target specific content to specific niche markets, among other benefits.
  • Makes outsourcing so much easier.

The types of information contained on an editorial calendar can vary from site to site, or business to business, but generally, the editorial calendar should contain the date of each scheduled publication along with the title or topic for each piece of content.

You can take the editorial calendar concept even further with just a little fine-tuning, and turn it into a fantastic planning tool for your digital marketing strategy. By repurposing your content, you can increase your reach without extra effort.

To create this kind of editorial calendar, consider including the following kinds of information for each piece of scheduled content, in addition to the scheduled publication date and title/topic:

  • Type of content (i.e., blog post, social share, infographic or other image-based content, video, podcast, email newsletter)
  • Channel (i.e., blog, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram etc.)
  • Current status (i.e., research, draft, revisions, published)
  • Call to action (Do you want readers to click a link? Sign up for your newsletter? Buy a product or package?)
  • Any source/resource URLs (i.e., any previously published information that serves as background or context for your content)
  • Team member to which content is assigned (if you’re working with others—employees or outside contractors—to develop content)

What format should you use for your editorial calendar? You have many options here, ranging from a very simple Word or text-based document to a spreadsheet. You can even use your computer’s calendar program. If you’re using self-hosted WordPress for your website, you may want to explore an editorial calendar plugin, such as CoSchedule or WP Editorial Calendar, which will allow you to plan your content in conjunction right from your WordPress dashboard.

A well-designed editorial calendar, especially one that’s kept current, can be a busy entrepreneur’s best friend. Keep yours up to date by devoting time to planning future content on a regular basis (say, an hour or so, a week before the beginning of the next month).

While it may seem like more “busy work,” a well-thought-out and up to date editorial calendar can be your “secret marketing weapon,” helping you to grow your digital presence and, ultimately, get more clients.

 

Grow your email listYour email list is a vital part of your business if you do any marketing online. It allows you to stay connected with prospects as you develop a relationship with them over time and convert some of them into paying clients.  It also allows you to control the conversation with the ability to target and time your messages for best results. Here are 10 strategies on how to grow your email list:

  1. Critical step – offer an enticing freebie in exchange for contact info. Not a newsletter subscription, but an ebook, mp3, or report that solves a big problem in your target market.
  2. Keep your signup form simple – just ask for first name and email address and include your privacy policy. Make sure you put the form on every web or blog page that you have.
  3. Present teleseminars, webinars or podcasts and require contact info to get the dial-in details for the call.
  4. Have a squeeze page to promote your freebie and include testimonials from happy users as well as the signup box.
  5. Submit articles to distribution sites such as EzineArticles.com and include a description of your freebie in the resource box along with the link to the squeeze page.
  6. Add a line of description about your freebie to your email signature with the link to the squeeze page and post helpful comments on discussion boards in your target market.
  7. Put a subscription link on every page of your newsletter and include a ‘share’ button. You’d be surprised how many newsletters are forwarded to non-subscribers.
  8. Cross promote with someone else by mentioning each other’s freebie in a newsletter or on the thank you page for your new subscribers.
  9. Promote your freebie on Facebook either on your business page with the signup box or with Facebook paid ads targeted specifically to your market.
  10. Create videos to solve problems in your target market and require contact info for access to the video.

Now, do a quick audit using the above list and pick at least one that you can implement right now and get on with building your email list.

If you enjoyed this article you might like to also check out my tips on creating powerful subject lines in your email marketing.

 

Author’s content used under license, © Claire Communications

 

Woman business owner receiving business awardWinning a business award raises your profile and increases your self-worth while creating new opportunities for you and your business. Plus applying for business awards is a great process that allows you to involve your team in understanding and celebrating what makes your business truly special.

You can never have too many awards!

All the same, like most things in life quality and not quantity should be your aim. So be particular where you put your time and effort into applying for a business award. Do your own research and find award opportunities that will support your business goals.

Here’s my top 10 guidelines to preparing your business award winning application.

1. Preparation is critical
Here is where you should spend the majority of your time because once you’ve done the preparation actually completing the application will me a snap. Check over the questions on the application and make a list of all the reference material, pictures, evidence and testimonials you have, or perhaps need to create and get them organised.

2. Keep answers on point
This is critical, read each question carefully and make sure you understand what’s required before you answer it. Make sure you provide only what’s relevant and stick to the point. Now is not the time to waffle on with interesting but irrelevant information.

3. Be honest
Answer each question with the truth and not as you would like it to be. Remember you might be mystery shopped and found lacking which will only do you harm. You can turn a negative into a positive by identifying a current weakness that you are working on to improve your results.

4. Make it interesting
Stories are a great way to engage the reader and deliver information that otherwise could be tedious and bore the pants of the judges. Use this technique to make your point and stand out. It works!

5. Share challenges you overcame
Business is rarely (if ever) all smooth sailing so engage the judges by sharing a critical time in your business journey. One that could have derailed you but didn’t because of the action you took to overcome it. Evidence of your staying power will count with the judges.

6. Don’t skip questions
Sounds obvious doesn’t it. But believe it or not it’s not uncommon for people to simply skip a question. Most applications have a grade allocated to each question. In fact sometimes judges are allocated only part of the application so may not see the total entry. If you skip a question you’ll certainly lose marks that will cost you a win.

7. Add images
Unless images are not permitted, use pictures and images to demonstrate and illustrate the points you’re making. It’s true, a picture paints a thousand words and can also support the written word by way of evidence.

8. Include social proof
Social proof is any fact, external comment or testimonial to validate you, your services or products and should be used to the full extent. Where appropriate use hyperlinks to online material.

9. Highlight successes
Now is not the time to hide your light under a bushel. Blow your own horn and highlight previous successes. Give as much detail as you need to demonstrate your achievement. And include as many highlights as warranted. They all count!

10. Let the judges know why your business is a winner
What really sets you apart from other businesses? That’s what the judges will be looking for so make sure it’s easy to find and “SEE” yourself accepting the award!

Here’s a bonus tip and one I’ve used to great effect. Even with an online application it’s worth your while to print out a couple of hard copies and bind them into a presentation. You can include hard copies of your marketing materials, photos etc and deliver them by hand or post.

One final point, when all is said and done, doing great work is no guarantee you’ll win the award. Your job is to write the best award submission you possibly can to demonstrate to the judges exactly why you should win. Their job is to judge, not to do any of the work for you so make sure you don’t leave anything out. Follow all the rules.

And know too that simply by entering you’re already ahead of the game and have a great chance to become a finalist or better still, a business award winner. Good luck!

Marketing SuccessIf you are one of the growing number of passionate entrepreneurs determined to make your mark on the world and change your clients’ lives for the better you will have faced the challenge of identifying what sets you apart from your competition.

Why should someone do business with you? And just as important. Why should they choose you over someone else?

In marketing terms this is called identifying your unique selling proposition or USP. It is derived by thinking logically about what you and your competition offer and uncovering points of differentiation. This is crucial if you want to achieve marketing success.

Now, while there is obviously a place for this logical, thinking process it does leave out the most potent element of all. And that’s the YOU in the mix. Do this at your peril, especially if you are a client based service provider. Your clients are buying you – and the better you shine through the more ideal clients you’ll attract. And the better results you’ll both get.

Staying in your head and not tapping into your heart can never unearth that deep down innate quality that is uniquely you.

The answer lies in your heart not in your head.

It’s not your unique selling proposition but your unique brilliance that will turn heads and hearts in your direction so that’s why discovering your unique brilliance is fundamental to your marketing success.

Here’s a few quick tips to get you started on that path of discovery!

Tip #1
Toss out your fear that you are not good enough. I hope not because good enough is just not good enough! Know and acknowledge to yourself that you are brilliant and have a unique gift that only you can offer the world.

Tip #2
Tap into your heart and listen to your higher self to discover your unique brilliance. It’s not a skill like playing the violin but nor is it a mission statement that is outside of yourself and more about others. Your unique brilliance is inside every cell of your body or your core essence. Get in touch with what you love to do and do extraordinarily well that it comes so naturally to you whether you’re working or playing.

Tip # 3
Don’t compromise. Once you have discovered your unique brilliance – use it exclusively. Play in your own sandpit doing what you do best and let go of everything else. Hire an employee or outsource the tasks that don’t fall within your unique brilliance.

Tip #4
Be confident that whatever you tackle, using your unique brilliance cannot fail. Whatever you create will naturally be brilliant too.

Never forget – your unique brilliance is your core essence. It’s what you do automatically and brilliantly no matter what you are doing. In fact you were born with it and probably take it for granted and so have never recognised or acknowledged it as the powerful compass that it is.

Time to change that and bring your brilliant self forward and incorporate it into your brand to power up your marketing and achieve massive marketing success.

If you’d like to know more about creating your own brilliant business brand – click here to book your free branding breakthrough session with me.

Your subject line is the single most important sentence in all your emails. A slightly better subject line is going to make a bigger impact than a much better email. The more people who you get to open your email, the more click-throughs you’re going to get and the more sales you’ll get.

So how do you write attention-grabbing subject lines for your marketing emails? Here are 6 success tips.

1. Use Personalisation

Use their name in the subject. Some marketers think this is tacky, or that people get used to it or start to tune it out after a time.

I don’t agree.They really don’t.

This has been split tested time and again and again by marketers across many industries. We’re human and using a person’s name in the subject line gets a higher open rate than the same subject line without their name. Almost always.

2. Use 35 Characters or Less

Different email programs have different subject line cut-off thresholds. As a rule of thumb, try to keep your subject lines under 35 characters.

This will keep your subjects from getting cut off. It’s also short enough that you can quickly grab someone’s attention. It doesn’t “feel” like a lot of work to read your short subject line.

3. Imply a Benefit

How will it benefit their lives to read your email?

Magazines have tested this extensively. Headlines that imply a benefit outperform headlines that are only shocking, headlines that are only interesting or headlines that engender curiosity but don’t imply a benefit. If you’re looking for inspiration stop by a news agency and check out the headlines on popular magazines.

Always, always tell people what they’ll get by opening your email.

4. Imply Exclusive Information

If possible, imply that you’re going to share something with them that nobody else is talking about. Something that you’ll only share once. Something that they would really benefit from learning.

When you make information exclusive and scarce, people get curious. Curious enough to open an email.

5. Create a Sense of Urgency

Imply that the information in your email is only good for a short time, or that an offer might expire. This technique is hard to get right, but can be extremely powerful.

Be honest! If you lie to create urgency, you’ll lose credibility with your audience. If you make up deadlines that don’t exist, people will stop paying attention to your claims.

But if you look for genuine scarcity and learn to showcase it, you can powerfully boost your open rates while actually increasing credibility. After all, people will be glad you brought something time sensitive to their attention before it was too late.

6. Split Test

Finally, split test. Split test different styles of headlines. Different kinds of headlines work better for different kinds of audiences. Not all audiences respond to the same things. Learn what works best with your audience.

If there is one takeaway today, it’s to remember that your subject lines are important. Critically important. Put a lot of time and energy into them and use these tips to help you create subject lines that get results.