A copywriting tip leads to activity and connection requests within LinkedIn

Yesterday, I posted the following copywriting tip within LinkedIn:

“A contact has updated their website with new wording. I noticed that there are some typos. I have found that if I point out grammatical and punctuation challenges, the changes are made and little learning takes place. So I gave this feedback: “There are a few typos on the homepage. I suggest that you read the webcopy out loud and slowly. When I lead copywriting workshops, the delegates are amazed by what they pick up, when they do this.”

I was quite surprised by the amount of feedback that it received. At the time of writing this comprised:  7 Likes, 4 Comments and 572 Views (scroll down to see a screenshot). Nothing to write home about, you may say, but not bad for a short social media update.

As you can see, the update comprised a tip. It was concise. As people began to comment, I responded to their comments.

This morning, I have had 2 new connection requests within LinkedIn and several new notifications. So I have posted another tip, this time on MailChimp training.

LinkedIn is a big subject and they have a habit of moving things around, don’t they?

~ Nigel Temple provides LinkedIn training for professionals and sales teams ~

What do the green LinkedIn profile buttons mean?

Have you noticed the green buttons that sometimes appear just underneath the circular photo of a member of LinkedIn?

Starting informal conversations via a LinkedIn message can be an effective way of getting noticed and moving onto a business topic.

You can now see who is online and available, within LinkedIn.

On a desktop / laptop, click on ‘My Network’ / ‘See all’.

A list of your connections appears. Some of them will have a green dot (they are logged into LinkedIn and they are using a desktop / laptop).

On a mobile, visit a connection’s profile to see their ‘green dot status’.

If the green dot has a white centre, they are on LinkedIn via a mobile phone.

This feature works for paying and non-paying LinkedIn members.

Connect with Nigel here:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/nigeltemple

Is it worth having a CRM?

Is it worth the time, trouble and expense of having and using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system?

The answer is that, yes, it is.

In my experience, it is a challenge to keep track of details and information when you are marketing and selling, as the information escalates exponentially. You end up with lists or a spreadsheet full of dozens, hundreds or even thousands of people.

If you are busy and the sales leads are coming in, you need to keep track of current sales opportunities. At the same time, it is important not to ignore dormant customers and your future sales pipeline.

For example, you may ask yourself: Who else is involved in making this decision? What did they tell me six months ago? Are they on LinkedIn? Is there a direct dial telephone number for this person?

The best CRM for your enterprise is the one that you actually use.

All too often, the software can be difficult to setup and too complicated to use on a day to day basis.

Have it open at all times. Record details as you receive them*.

In an interconnected age, choose a CRM that integrates with other software applications that you use.

For example, Capsule CRM integrates properly with MailChimp and Gmail.

Once I have sent a proposal by Gmail, with one click I can add that person into Capsule. When I look at their profile in Capsule, it shows me the email and the PDF proposal – which I can open with one click. I can then add this opportunity to my sales pipeline, which means that I won’t forget about it.

The benefits of having a CRM system

Capsule CRM training

* Please bear the GDPR legislation in mind when you record and store data.

Social media broadcasting versus engagement

Within social media, an example of ‘broadcasting’ would be sharing your blog entries. Some companies do little else.  A few of them are very good at doing this, particularly if the blogs are relevant to their target market and are well written, helpful and useful.

Sadly, this is not always the case. You may be aware of some enterprises / brands that churn out huge volumes of blog material, much of which is of little value.

An alternative strategy is engagement. For example, you can ask a member of Twitter a question by sending a Tweet which includes their Twitter handle. They will see that they have been mentioned via ‘Notifications’.

Another example would be the use of instant messaging with LinkedIn or Facebook. As I am writing this post, my smartphone has been pinging, as new instant messages arrive via LinkedIn.

In addition, you can of course Like, Comment or Share other people’s content. I am selective when I do this and I only Like content which is interesting, thought provoking etc.

When I comment on someone’s social media content I am always positive. I am not saying that you should do what I do, and I have noticed that other people can be controversial or negative in their comments. I have always wondered if this works for them, if they have something to market / sell?

An effective strategy is to combine broadcasting with engagement. Yes, I realise that this is time consuming but it beats cold calling,  doesn’t it?

As always, I welcome comment and feedback on my posts.

A CRM system that works with MailChimp

For several years, I have been a MailChimp trainer.  During the training sessions, I am often asked about CRM solutions that work with MailChimp. There are several options and one that I like is Capsule CRM.

Capsule is a cloud based system. You can login to it via a website browser or via their App (which is very useful). You can create a free account and experiment with it (with up to 250 contacts).

The best CRM (Customer Relationship Management system) for your business is the one that you actually use.

I have read countless stories in the marketing and business press regarding complex databases, that have cost a great deal of money,  which have failed.

Many CRMs are too complicated and take too long to learn.

You can install a CRM on your own office server and there may well be good reasons for doing this, i.e. if it integrates with your accounting / e-commerce system.

Alternatively, you can use a cloud based system. This option can be easy to implement and inexpensive to run.

MailChimp and Capsule and be linked together via an API (Application Programming Interface).

I have got to know the Capsule CRM well as we use it every day within The Marketing Compass and I offer Capsule CRM training.


How to set sales and marketing targets

Setting sales and marketing targets works and this will make a big difference to your results.

I have used them for years and when I work with a client we always go through a target setting process.

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” ~ Tony Robbins

A. Financial targets (start here):

1. Turnover for the year ahead

This is an important target. If you don’t have a turnover target to aim for, anything could happen and it probably won’t be good.

2. Turnover per month

Start with your break-even figure, then add a buffer. In general, I have found that people tend to set targets which are too low.

3. Profitability for the year ahead

If you don’t have an objective in mind, profitability could be anything, couldn’t it?

4. Profitability for per month

The idea is to make money every month.

B. Customer targets

The number and type of customers that you will require to achieve the above targets.

If you segment your market, this process will be much easier.

C. Website targets

How many Unique Visitors, page views etc you will need for your website per month and annually.

In addition, set a target for the number of sales enquiries / sales that will come from your website.

If e-commerce is part (or all) of your business, then you will require a more in depth set of website targets.

D. Promotional mix targets

Begin with outputs, for example the number of blogs that you are going to write per month as well as  the target word count per blog.

Go through each promotional technique that you use and set targets. There are hundreds of promotional techniques to choose from, by the way.

If you are using a lot of them, then you may need to catalogue the techniques and set output, sales leads and sales targets per technique and also for each marketing mix category (i.e. advertising, events).

Having clear sales and marketing targets will help to keep you focused on the important tasks, not just the urgent ones.

E. Sales targets

Set targets for the number of customer contacts and key objectives such as sales meetings,  proposals and closing ratio per month. See: Selling professional services

Get your team involved

If you work with other people, get them involved with target setting and measurement. Unrealistic targets can be demoralising however, it is a good idea to set exciting growth targets which the whole team understands and is committed to.

Google Search Console

Google has launched a new version of Search Console that helps you to manage your presence on Google Search.  Specifically, it shows you how people have found your website. The software is free to use.

You can now confirm which of your website pages are indexed and receive information on how to fix indexing errors. You can also monitor your performance on Google Search over the previous  16 months of data, to enable year-over-year comparisons.

Google recommends checking your current status using the new Search Console, as they will only notify you if your site data changes from the current state.

I found that it took a few attempts before Search Console would verify that I owned my website (!); however, if this happens to you, it is worth persisting and there are several ways in which you can verify your website.

You can login here: https://search.google.com/search-console

Is it worth me considering PR as a way of getting my name out there?

I was asked this question within The Marketing Compass website by Walter Blackburn, who is an experienced public speaking and presentations skills trainer. His company is Presenting Success – well worth a look.

Here is my response: Yes, PR works and it is a great way of getting your name out there. If you are happy to talk to journalists and reach out to them, it can have a considerable impact on your business. PR is a great way of generating brand awareness.

When I ran a PR and markeiting communications agency, we took small ‘invisible’ enterprises and made them well known within their industry and target markets.

With regards to your business, it would be a good idea to contact the local consumer and business media in order to let them know that you are there. Virtually everyone needs to improve their public speaking and presentation skills and business owners and decision makers may well pick up on a story in their local press (for us, this would be The Maidenhead Advertiser, which is a well respected and long established weekly newspaper which runs a business section every month).

Why not build a list of media contacts with whom you could exchange emails and have telephone conversations? They may wish to interview you or they may request copy from you in terms of articles and case studies.

In the 21st century, PR fits in with social media. Many journalists use Twitter and you can connect with them there.”

The 3 most important things to consider when writing a blog

Margi Ross http://consciousfeminine.org has created a body of work with regards to the next stage in the development of the Feminine, the ‘Conscious Feminine’. Margi is a published author and she gives talks on the Conscious Feminine and the issues surrounding it.

Margi is a member of The Marketing Compass and she asked me: “What are the 3 most important things to consider when writing a blog?”

Of course there are many things to think about, however, here is my reply:

Hi Margi, Thank you for asking this question. There are two approaches to blogging:

A) As an SEO technique. This would start with the blog headline which would comprise a long tail SEO phrase. I have looked through your blog headlines and I don’t think that you are using this approach. I suggest that some of your blog headlines are ‘Google friendly’ i.e a search for “What is feminism?” generates an astonishing 152 million page results. If you haven’t already done so, you could write a blog with the headline: What is feminism? …and include that phrase a few times within the blog.

Therefore the first important thing is to: “Think headlines.”

B) The second approach is ‘just to write’ as, for example, Seth Godin does here: http://sethgodin.typepad.com …notice that Seth does not write his headlines with Google in mind. Seth blogs every day and writes interesting, thought provoking blog entries.

The second important thing is to “be interesting”. Clearly, this is a big subject in its own right. For example, you can take a position on something; share some research; provide a new perspective; or talk about your experiences.

The third important thing is to increase your blog frequency. The more you write and the more frequently you post, the more awareness, shares, likes and interactions will be generated.

Kind regards, Nigel

Photograph courtesy of VeggieVision: http://www.veggievision.tv/feminine-integrated-society-margi-ross

Marketing advice

You can get marketing advice from books, seminars and the internet. The challenge is that this advice is generic and not tailored for your business. The following list may help and I have provided a couple of ways that you can receive 1-2-1 advice, at the end.

Marketing can help you to attract more customers, increase your turnover and profitability and spend less time chasing new business, amongst other things. It can help you to improve customer loyalty and retention rates and make your business more valuable, should you ever decide to sell it.

Here is some general marketing advice:

*  Think about your marketing strategy. It is all too easy to become lost in the detail.

*  Write down your marketing objectives, starting with turnover and profitability.

* Create a marketing plan.

*  Stay focused on your objectives, no matter what happens.

*  It is a good idea to have a concise, written, marketing plan.

*  Review your plan once a month.

*  Marketing is all about customers.

*  Which customer segments are you targeting and can you describe them to me?

*  Think about how you are positioning your business, in relation to your competitors?

*  Build a brand, not just a business.

*  Make your pricing part of your marketing strategy.

*  Productise your services.

*  Decide whether you are going to do the marketing yourself, or outsource anything, i.e. website development.

*  With regards to promotional activities, are they:
a) Primarily time based i.e. your time
b) Based on a modest budget + your time
c) Primarily budget based i.e. using marketing agencies and / or marketing staff

*  Have enough people heard of you? (Marketers call this ‘brand awareness’).

*  Spend more time working on your website and in particular, its content.

*  Are you generating enough sales enquiries?

* How much time will you spend on marketing activities each day, week, month?

* How will you measure progress and success? Look at your websites stats, such as Google Analytics, at least once a month. Count the number of sales leads that you receive and find out where they come from.

My best marketing advice tip is to keep learning on a continual basis. You can do so here: The Marketing Compass

If you are looking for marketing advice, look for a consultant with a proven track record. They should be prepared to spend some time listening to you and your unique situation and requirements.

You should expect to receive specific ideas and action points that are relevant to your enterprise and resources.

Nigel Temple is an independent marketing consultant. He has helped over 3,000 enterprises of all shapes and sizes to improve their results.

You can book Nigel for a one-off Marketing TurboCharge session to review / improve your marketing results. You can email him via nigel@nigeltemple.com or call him on: 01628 773128