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WHO Is Your Customer? Where Are They? Not Just Another Target Market Post!

IempowerU Online Entrepreneur asks you to identify your perfect customer

On a regular basis, review and evaluate who your customer is and where they can be found. Then, review and evaluate the needs of your customer and how you are meeting those needs.

You must design/implement a business online presence/strategy that will appeal to that customer base and their needs.

Review your existing data on the following:

  • your target market
  • their demographics
  • their psychographics
  • their pain
  • your solution to their pain

If you do not have this information compiled yet, start now. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be.

Remember: attempt, fail, improve.

As your business evolves, so will your products and/or service offerings. As you meet the needs of your existing customers, they will ask for more.. or different. Sometimes, without even realizing it, you may veer off course so much that you now have a totally different customer base.

Take a few minutes now to analyze your customer base in-depth. Sign up for weekly tips that will take you step by step through this process. Or schedule an appointment for one on one instruction, if you want to get through this project yesterday. Start today or start tomorrow, but, either way you have to create this picture of your perfect customer, right now, at this moment. Don’t worry about making it all perfect – just get it written down.

Then we can start to create, improve and implement an online business strategy from these answers.

Your Online Presence – The WHY Component

IempowerU Online Entrepreneur asks WHY you want an online presence
Why Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Last month we talked about the “2 Steps To An Online Presence That Does The Work For You”. Step 1 is the least sexy, tedious and time consuming part – strategy and planning. But, without this step, you are going to muck about in a lot of strange places, with no direction, no benchmarks and then give up before you get to an undetermined finish line.

If you are a builder like me, you don’t want to make endless lists and “plans” for the future. You just want to build and correct up as you go! Ok, so let’s do just that. Build and plan at the same time.

Get a piece of paper, a keyboard, a video camera or a recording device and then answer these questions for yourself. Don’t just think about it, you need that cranial space for more important things like remembering the steps required to build this plan!

The WHY Component – why are you creating or improving your online presence in the 1st place?

What are the tremendous possibilities when you do? Not sure? We can talk about this in-depth!
And what power do you unleash when you create an online presence on purpose, as opposed to letting your casual facebook updates do it for you?

And finally, how will this increase the dollars on your business bottom line? It will! I promise!

Take an in-depth look at yourself and why you are doing what you do. Sign up for weekly tips that will take you step by step through this process. Or schedule an appointment for one on one instruction, if you want to get through this project yesterday. Start today or start tomorrow, but, either way you have to get through this step to create this picture of why you are, right now, at this moment. Don’t worry about making it all perfect, just get it written down.

Then we can start to create, improve and implement an online business strategy from these answers.

2 Steps To An Online Presence That Does The Work For You

IempowerU Online Entrepreneur helps you create or improve your online presence

Do you want an online presence that does the work for you? GREAT! I want that for you too. Let’s cut to the chase and get started making this happen for you.

Step 1: Create Or Improve Your Strategy – your big picture.

Quit hiring people to build websites for you that you can’t afford and then don’t do what you wanted them to do anyway. Stop opening social media accounts and then walking away because you don’t know what to do with them. Don’t spend another dime, or minute on this until you can sit down and make a plan based on your unique situation.

Your strategy will be composed by answering these questions in-depth:

  • Why Do You Want An Online Presence?
  • Who Are You?
  • Who Is Your Customer? Where Are They?
  • What Tools Do You Use, How Do You Use Them, How Do You Track Them?
  • When Should You Use Each Tool?

Based on your answers to these questions, you will now have a plan, action steps and a timetable. Whoopee, you say. If you knew the answers to these questions, you would already have a rocking online presence. Ok, so, stay tuned each week as we dig into each of these topics. Or, you can schedule an appointment if you don’t want to wait.

Step 2: Implement your plan aka START.

create multiple streams of income with IempowerU Online Entrepreneur
  • No more thinking about it, it is time to just do it.
  • It won’t be perfect: start, experiment, fail, improve, keep going.
  • Don’t freak out if you don’t meet your timetable goals – adjust, fix what can be fixed and keep going.
  • Seek the help of experts when you hit a challenge – don’t get sidetracked because you can’t figure something out,contact me!

That’s it. These 2 steps will get you to an online presence that works for you, everyday M-F, on weekends, on holidays, when you are on vacation, even when you are sleeping.

Will it be easy, quick, painless, free?

NO.

Will it be worth it?

YES.

Onward and upward!

What Techniques Do You Use To Do Your Marketing On A Consistent Basis?

Linda Hughes, iempoweru May 2017

Some things are easy to do and even easier not to do. Such is the case with most forms of marketing, but, especially social media marketing. It is easy to put off these tasks in favor of doing the ones that seem to bring the immediate money to you, such as closing a hot sales call, or doing the work that got sold, or talking with clients, or delivering orders. All of these things are necessary too and so much more rewarding, quickly. You make the sale, collect the check and perform the task or service. No guess work or waiting to see if your effort produced results.

Marketing is one of those things that you can postpone while you have the sales coming in. But, what happens when that pipeline runs dry? You got it – nothing – as in, you are out of work and the rent is due in and how are you going to pay those bills? Throwing a tweet out there at this point is so ridiculous, might as well go stick your head in the oven, at least that action would have results that you could see!

I wouldn’t advocate doing that last step, the results will not be pretty. So, what do you do instead?

Don’t let the pipeline run dry.

Easier said than done. I know.

Regarding the tasks involved in doing social media marketing, here are some things that I do, they might work for you. And please, share yours with me.

At IempowerU Online Entrepreneur we do social medial marketing right

First of all, I take the time to develop a strategy. Then, based on that strategy, I block out time in the day, the week or the month for the specific tasks required from my strategy.

Then I do them, at the same time every day, week or month. I decide what tasks can be interrupted, what tasks must be done at that time, and then I just do them.

Sure, there are LOTS of times when I don’t want to, or when I would rather do something else. But, when I am tempted to get distracted, I think about that empty pipeline. And I hate that much more than I do sticking to the routine of my marketing strategy.

As I develop the process of doing, I consider things like:

  • developing keystroke efficiencies for each task
  • saving templates for repetitive actions or steps
  • setting up a work sequence that allows having multiple windows open at one time. I move from one window to the next quickly. As I am saving on one screen I am posting on the next.
  • research and select internet tools that allow you to automate non-critical tasks

Most important of all, when developing your strategy, decide what is critical or non-critical. Example would be that unfollowing people on twitter is non-critical, responding to a true comment from a new follower is critical.

All well and good, but, how do you know if any of this is really doing you any good at all? It seems like you throw those tweets out there every day and still get no response. And how the heck does a tweet lead to getting a client?

Well, that is why you have that social media marketing strategy – same as you do for any other type of marketing. This strategy will be your guide. You will know who, why, what, where and when. There won’t be any guesses and you won’t have to ask that question again. Because in your strategy, you will plan for measuring the success of certain steps and then what to do next.

Using the comment box, let me know the techniques you are using. Until then, onward and upward!

Online Marketing Success: 6 Things You MUST Know

Linda Hughes, iempoweru May 2017

Entrepreneurs and small business owners: Take a minute right now to KNOW these things. They should be top of mind, answer them immediately. And then you will be well on your way to online marketing success.

#1: WHO are you trying to sell your products and/or services to? WHO is your target market?– demographics and psychographics.

Learn at IempowerU Online Entrepreneur that everyone is not your target market

DON’T SAY EVERYONE!

Why? Because you can not be all things to all people! You can not solve everyone’s problems with a one size fits all kind of solution at the same time. You just can’t!

How can I be so sure of that? Been there, done that, first hand experience gained everyday.

Learn why people should buy from you at IempowerU Online Entrepreneur

#2: WHY should they buy from you?

No really! Why you? You as opposed to your competition. Yes! WE ALL HAVE COMPETITION! If you don’t have competition, you don’t have anything worth buying.

#3: WHAT is the pain you are fixing for them?

Tell me in a less than 30 seconds and then prove to me just as quickly that you have the solution. And I don’t mean give me a fancy, glib, sparkly elevator pitch that someone else wrote for you that doesn’t even sound good to you and that no one will believe anyway.

#4: WHERE will you find your target market?

Looking for clients in all the wrong places wastes LOTS of time!

As in, if your target market doesn’t even own a computer, trying to reach them through twitter is just ridiculous. Does that mean their money is not as green or will not spend as well?

At IempowerU Online Entrepreneur we help you save time so you can make more money

#5: WHEN will your target market need your solution?

AHHH – timing is everything.

Pouring all of your time/energy/efforts into a person that is not ready to buy is a waste of your time/ energy/ efforts.

Yeah but, when they are ready to buy you will be top of mind! Who cares if you have gone out of business already.

#6: HOW will you reach your target market with your messageabout your very way cool solution to their unique problem?

Sorry to say this, but, while it is true that social media is the greatest thing since peanut butter, there really is more to life and business than social media. And other ways to reach your target market!

Refer to my comments on Where to reach your target market. How many other obvious, in your face methods to reach your target market are you stepping over in your rush to get to facebook?

Then, consider this – using social media for your business is primarily marketing. You still need to have a sales strategy and IMPLEMENT that in order for any of your marketing efforts to work.

Ok, so let me get off my pedestal and put my money where my mouth is. Here are my answers to these questions.

#1: Who is my target market?
Demographics:Early stage and emerging growth companies that want to utilize a strong online presence to gain exposure for their products and services.

Psychographics: These are early adopters that are not afraid to make mistakes multiple times and who value substance over style initially. And NO, not all entrepreneurs are early adopters. And yes, I believe that you will ONLY succeed if you are ready to roll up your shirt sleeves, get your hands dirty and IMPLEMENT your ideas!

#2: Why will my recommendations solve your problems? Why should you buy from me?
Great question since there is an online marketing expert on every street corner. You should buy my solutions because I know they work – time and time again. They are not solutions that I copied from someone else’s blog. They are tested, tried, proven. And I don’t wait for someone else to come up with the next greatest way to do online marketing. Instead, I experiment every day with newer, better ways to do the same old thing. Read here for proof.

Magic happens at IempowerU Online Entrepreneur

Will my recommendations be like a magic wand that gets waved, instantly producing tons of money pouring into your bank account with no effort? NO! It requires you to think, plan and then IMPLEMENT every day no matter how you feel, no matter what shiny object floats by to distract you.

#3: What pain am I solving for you?
That I have been there, done that already. I know how to make these internet tools work, I know what to do when. I know what works for this type of business and what doesn’t work for that one. And just so I don’t get too cocky, every day I experiment with new tools, try new things with old tools. This means that you don’t have to do these things on your own. Instead, you just get to plug into the proven method, work the system and get back to running your business.

#4: Where is my target market? #6: How will I reach them?
They are already online or willing to learn how to be. They are willing to consider new methods for old problems. I will reach them in planned and implemented daily on and offline transactions.

#5: When? No time like the present!

If you need online marketing help and think you would be a good fit after reading all that,make an appointment with me and let’s get started accelerating your online marketing efforts to success.

Creating Your Online Presence: It IS Really ALL About YOU

At IempowerU Online Entrepreneur its about you

We are always being told that it is NOT about us, that it is always about our families, our customers, our strategic partners, the world. It is almost a crime to be thinking about ourselves, especially when we are trying to sell a product or service. But, I say different. Because until we truly know ourselves, our motivations, needs and limitations, how can it really be about anyone else?

Today, I give you permission to make it all about YOU, especially as we plan your online presence and strategy to create it.

Take an in-depth look at yourself and how you are doing business.Contact me to request a survey that will take you through this entire discovery process.Don’t worry about making it all perfect – just get it written down.

Then we can start to create, improve and implement an online business strategy from these answers.

Remember, have fun with this. Isn’t that one of the reasons you started your business in the first place – to have more fun? So, just do it!

4 Ways To Lift The “Curse” Of The Entrepreneur

Linda Hughes, iempoweru May 2017

First of all, what is the curse of the entrepreneur? When I sit down to interview an entrepreneur, I ask them to tell me about their project. Almost without exception, they apologize, explaining that they have 2 or 3 projects they are working on, which would I like to know about first?

We all know it, even if we haven’t grouped the symptoms and given them a name. Some people call it “shiny object syndrome”, non-entrepreneurs and our mothers call it an inability to stay focused. Lots of phrases are used to describe it: multi-tasking, balls in the air. In the depths of an entrepreneur mood swing, I have even called mine mental illness. On the flip side of all this negativity, I prefer to think that we see opportunities in every air molecule. It is the desire to want to experience many things at once. Because we are too impatient to experience in a linear fashion, we just stack it all up at once and go for it. It is at once our greatest liability and our greatest asset. And no where near mental illness.

Why do I say lift instead of cure? Because the “curse” is not a disease, or a liability. If it can be lifted even blessed, then it can become our greatest asset, our greatest gift.

Magic happens at IempowerU Online Entrepreneur

Ready to wave the magic wand?

#1: Know your core competencies.

Although important, this means more than knowing what skills you know and are good at in a certain industry. Most of us happened into a job or career path and stayed there because we became good at it, got paid well or saw a clear road to fame and fortune. Definitely take the time to catalog these things.

What is equally important to know is why were you good at it? And then, what are the other things that separate you from the pack? What are the things about you that make your world right? The things that satisfy every part of you?

How will this help you bless a current or future state of chaos?

If you can clearly identify these things, you can use them as a guide. Does your next shiny object stay true to your core? Then find a way to fit it in and keep on going. Does it deviate way off the mark with no hope of coming back? Might want to postpone that one for now, don’t abandon, just postpone.

Write it down though so you don’t forget. Matter of fact, write everything down to get it out of your head! Gotta leave room for more of the wonderful things you have yet to encounter!

#2: When in doubt, seek the experts.
Ok, true confessions time. Sometimes, when I want to spin off following another shiny object, it is because I am stumped on how to proceed on my current chosen path. I just flat out don’t know what to do next.

I have been experimenting with this one, so I think it is safe to say, when in this kind of doubt, go find the expert that can help you overcome this challenge.

#3: Do stay focused.

Until recently, I have hated that phrase. It reminds me of humiliating grade school parent-teacher conferences. Ever the optimist, I decided to see the flip side of it. Instead of the scowling teachers face, I now choose to see the successful completion of my current dream and all the fun that will come from achieving it. If I can just make a plan and stick to it, I can get to that completed dream.

It also helped to create a plan of action for these moments. I do the tasks I don’t like first, outsource what and when I can, and save the tasks I like to do for the last. I use them as a reward.

And once again, I write down the ideas I get that want to sidetrack me, you know, for later.

#4: Get a life.

It’s taken over half of my life to realize that not everything I like to do has to become a business. I think that is the negative consequence of reading Joseph Campbell’s “Follow Your Bliss” at too early of an age.

It is ok to have hobbies, matter of fact, it is okay to have lots of hobbies. It is okay to also do them just for the joy of doing them – NO other reason!

Just know that you will have to balance the time spent on hobbies and on your business. This is a choice you get to make. Swallow those complaints, because only you are in control of the choices you make.

There! Consider your curse lifted and your ventures blessed! Now, I gotta go, did you all see that shiny object over there? Onward and upward!

How Do You Learn And DO At The Same Time?

Linda Hughes, iempoweru May 2017

I help entrepreneurs and small business owners create and improve their online presence. It can be tough stuff. They run full force into long held personal beliefs, “I am not good at math” or “I am not smart enough to do that internet stuff” all the way to “what if I break it?” Hard enough to face those demons, they are all developing marketing strategies that they will implement while trying to DO their business at the same time.

When you are actively involved in learning how to do something new, especially something on the internet, just how do you learn and do at the same time?

IempowerU Online Entrepreneur discusses how to get things done

Here is what I do, now, after making many, many, many mistakes(why can you only see this after the fact?).

First step is deciding if it is something that would be better off done by others, from a time and money perspective. Often for me, plain old curiosity gets in the way of better decision making. I am curious to see if I could pull it off, so I try it, get involved and then find myself in the middle of doing it. Was it worth it just to know something new? Or would my time be better spent in selling existing products/services?

Second step is developing a strategy for learning the new. Big picture to little picture to tasks. I am a deadline nut, so I tie it all to time.

Then I overlay that onto my existing routine of doing the business.

Then I have to massage everything to make it all fit. Tweak the strategy, adjust the doing, extend the time. Finally I have the plan.

Third step is that I intentionally recognize that I am taking on extra obligations and I am doing this to and for myself and my business. So, before I launch out with it all, I vow to not complain about it. I am the boss, I make the decisions on how I spend my time. And since I have chosen to learn something new I don’t get to whine about it, or at least not too much!

And then I just go do it. All of it.

How about you? Really want to know how you handle all of this. Onward and upward!

How Do You Balance The Needs Of The Many With The Needs Of You?

Linda Hughes, iempoweru May 2017

If you are like me, you are available night and day to all of the people in your network of business associates, friends and family.

Only going on my own experience here, I think it started way back when, as a need to be needed. Ouch. There, I said it. But, then, over time, it became a habit and an ingrained part of my personal brand. I don’t think I would go so far as to say it became a personality trait, because I don’t need to be needed anymore.

And just because I don’t feel this need anymore, doesn’t mean that those in my life feel the same way. They have a picture of me, I belong to a set of principles that they can tap into, they are used to me needing to feel needed. And they want that back!

So, how do I help them adjust, balance their needs with mine?

Do you run across these same issues? How do you handle them?

I have a few suggestions that I have tried, that work, or am trying and I will give you results later.

learning about setting boundaries at IempowerU Online Entrepreneur

I have set firm boundaries.

When my kids left home, I took back the time that I had given them(of course, it was A LOT!). Initially, I felt guilty and very self-centered. Initially, they thought I was very self-centered and complained of feeling abandoned. Took a few years, but, they are over it and so am I.

When I resigned as a working partner in my husband’s business, I turned my attention to creating/operating my own business. Firmly, on a daily basis, I assure him that we are still life partners, but, I am no longer available 24/7 for his business. We are still working on it, because he doesn’t want this to change. If I hit the magic answer I will share it with you.

Managing the daily needs of my business is a bit tougher, as I am the chief cook and bottle washer. I created blocks of time in my day. I do this at this time, that at that time. I meet people face to face only on this day, I take phone appointments only on that day. For the most part it works. And I try not to allow too many special circumstances to intervene.

Linda M Hughes @iempoweru belly dancer
Spartan Race 2013 Ft Carson, CO Mud Crawl

Personal time has gotten easier. I realized that in order to be able to get up every day, I had to have something fun to look forward to, something that belonged only to me. For quite some time, belly dancing satisfied that need. Then last year I added obstacle racing. Then, the obstacle racing accident interrupted all of my routines for awhile. At that time, it was all about me and my recovery.

Thank goodness that time is past. But, the silver lining in that experience is this:

You have to take care of you and your needs in order to take care of anyone else. You can not really give, or serve others well, until you give and serve to yourself. Really. It’s not selfish, self centered, wrong or anything else negative that you might want to call it. It is a fact.

So, how are you doing this? Share with your thoughts with us so we can all learn from each other

We All Have The Same 24 Hours – How Will You Spend Yours?

Linda Hughes, iempoweru May 2017

I want to spend mine making a difference – big or small, doesn’t matter. I just want to make a difference.

So, how do you do that when you have to juggle so many things every day?

I can only speak for myself in this regard, which I will share with you right now.

Decide what is important to you and then just go do it.

If you decide that you want to be in a fantastic, wonderful, profitable business – get a plan, get a team of advisor, surround yourself with excellence and then just DO it.

Don’t let anything stop you or stand in your way. Simple.

If you decide to raise fantastic, wonderful kids with a rockstar, loving spouse – get a plan, get a team of trusted advisors, surround yourself with excellence and then just DO it.

If you are like me and you want to play with some serious hobbies- get a plan, get a team of knowledgeable experts, surround yourself with excellence and then just DO it.

getting motivated with IempowerU Online Entrepreneur

What if you already have all of these things going for you? And they are all important, all first priority? Your kids and spouse are the most important, of course. But, then, you must feed them too, which makes the profitable business equally important. And hobbies, who has time?

You do. If you get a plan, get a team, surround yourself with excellence and just do it.

Will you build your business as fast as the swashbuckling, jetsetting superstar entrepreneur? No and who cares, it will get built in your time, as you can.

In 20 yrs will your kids really care or even remember if you missed one soccer game, or burned the pan of boiling water, or didn’t make cookies for Back To School Night? No. But, they will remember that you always did your best. And that is the best way to lead them by example.

save time and money at IempowerU Online Entrepreneur

Hobbies, time alone, vacations? Well, what is at the top of your priority list?

It is your list, you get to decide. You also get to change this list, any time you want. If these are important, you will make the time to do them. And that, I believe, is the key to optimizing the most out of every day of your life. Decide what is important and then just go do it. Quit bellyaching about “time”, and just go do it.

After you have set your priorities, insist – no, DEMANDthat you do one thing, or part of one thing on this list of priorities every single day. Big or small.

If you do that every day, by the end of the week all those little things will add up to be a big thing. And after a month, those big things will add up to be a GREAT thing and after a year…

And then, you will have bragging rights, not complaints about time.

Share your thoughts on this topic with me. Until then, onward and upward.