What’s in the way?

What's in the way?
From the Lightbox Communications exclusive series of Good Questions to Ask Once in a While, here is your June episode: What’s in the way?

If Your Offer Looks Good, Check for Obstacles

When people don’t come to our workshops, buy our products, or join our events, we often look for reasons our offer may not have been attractive enough. Maybe the title wasn’t very compelling? Maybe people don’t want another ayurvedic cooking class? Maybe your product isn’t as great as you thought? Those can be helpful questions to ask, but sometimes it’s eye opening to take another perspective. What obstacles do your people have to overcome before they can click your button or walk through your doors?

The Usual Suspects

Common obstacles are: no time, no access, no clarity. Starting with the last one, look at your offer and try your best to pretend that this is the first time you ever hear about your it. Do you get a clear picture of the event or product? Is it obvious why you would benefit from it? How can you join or buy? Are there too many options, details, or exceptions that might be confusing?

Next, how accessible is your offer? Is your event in an obscure location? Are you planning it at a time when your crowd might be busy or simply not available? Are your business hours accommodating their schedules?

And finally, let me make a sweeping generalization and say that most people don’t have an abundance of free time. (Which is really wrong on many levels, but that’s another blog post.) If you are expecting them to scroll down half a yard or click seven pages deep before they have all the information they need or get to say yes, good luck. You might also look at the time commitment you are looking for and make sure it is reasonable.

Clear the Path

Here is what the first steps to removing the road blocks might look like for you:

  • Rewrite and/or your copy.
  • Rearrange the layout of your webpage or print materials.
  • Reschedule.
  • Try a different location.

If you’d like some help with any of those, let’s talk.

{Photo by kBandara on Flickr.}

How do you stay on track?

Path by Hockadilly - Staying on Track

So you have some marketing goals for the summer. Maybe even a marketing plan (yeah!), or at least a list of a couple specific actions you want to take. How do you make sure you’ll stay on track and be successful? Here are two simple ideas:

1. Schedule DIY check-ins.

Use a tool you already like and are familiar with to schedule regular check-ins with yourself – your Google calendar, your planner, Highrise, a reminder on your phone, or your wall calendar. Plan for 30-45 uninterrupted minutes.

How often? From my experience, bi-weekly is the sweet spot – but of course you can experiment with the frequency. During the check-in, answer these four questions for yourself:

– What have I accomplished?
– What fell off the radar?
– Do I need to adjust my plan to make room for new goals and priorities?
– What goals will I focus on for the next two weeks – and what do I need to reach them?

2. Find an ally.

I can guarantee you, you’re not the only one struggling with the temptation of detours and distractions (you probably already knew that).

Find someone who is also pursuing one or more goals this summer, and support each other. You might send each other quick check-in texts or emails, share resources and techniques you find helpful, listen and bounce ideas off each other, cheer each other on, and also remind each other that the sky won’t crash on you if that newsletter goes out a week later than planned.

Since we’re talking about sharing resources, here is one I love: Zen Habits, Leo Babauta’s blog on motivation, simplicity, cultivating positive habits, and more.

I’m curious to hear what works for you.

{Photo by hockadilly on Flickr.}

Everyday Marketing.

Bonfire by natalielucier
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that my approach to kickstarting your marketing is all about planting seeds and sparking connections. But of course that’s not where it ends.

Your seeds need a constant flow of water and nutrients to grow into a strong plant. Your spark can only turn into an all-night-long bonfire if you give it oxygen and something to burn.

Here is what that looks like for your marketing:

Pick a time of day when you can set aside just 15-30 minutes. Every day,* use that time to do just these four things:

1. Reach out to someone.

Maybe there is someone you admire, or someone you’d love to have as your ally, or a blog you’d be thrilled to see your business featured on, or that person you see at the coop every week… Say hi, introduce yourself, and see if you can create a spark.

2. Thank someone.

our business partner who held down the fort for you when you needed a break. The client you really enjoyed working with. The student who brought a friend to your class last week. Someone who offered a much needed dose of honest feedback. Pick up the phone, write an email, or send a tweet.

3. Touch base with someone.

Is there a client you haven’t seen in a while? Time to send out your next newsletter? Ask how your people have been doing, and give them a little update about what’s been happening in your space.

4. Write something about what you do.

This can be anything from a journal entry to a website headline or Facebook post. Practice telling people about what you do, and look for words and examples that resonate with them and with yourself.

Over the next weeks and months, watch your marketing get stronger – and easier, too.

*Yes, you may make an exception on especially crazy days. Not on averagely crazy days though.