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Are we answering your questions?

Champion Assistants Answers your questionsI hope the articles that we publish here help you to be more effective and efficient in managing your business. It’s our goal to write things that are timely and explore trends and ideas in marketing, sales and technologies.  Please let us know if there is a topic you feel we should write about. Let’s all put our heads together and help each other out.  You have experts at your fingertips – just contact us!

From all of us at Champion Assistants!

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5 Basic Elements of Targeted Marketing

tragetThere are many styles of marketing, but only one that truly works in all applications. That one style is known as Targeted Marketing. Targeted Marketing uses information and planning to reach the right people at the right time. Below are the five basic elements to effectively and efficiently utilize this style of marketing.

1. Know Your Audience: Just like you know your products or services, you likely know who will benefit from them the most and why. What problem does your particular product solve? Are there any other problems that that same product solves? Who has these problems? Bingo, you have found your target. Now you must learn about your target market. What are there habits? Where do they shop? What media sources do they use frequently? Why do they hang out? What do they like and dislike? Knowing your audience in this way will help you to focus your marketing efforts toward them in an efficient manner. If you were trying to reach an 80 year old man you wouldn’t post an ad in Vogue would you?

2. Optimize Your Efforts: For every company this element will vary slightly, but the general emphasis here is to make sure the tools and information you have available to your clients are working for you. If you have a website, make sure the content is updated on a regular basis, the metadata is accurate and accessible including keywords and a site map. The same goes for brochures and other informational leaflets. The information needs to be accurate and honest and the appearance needs to be clean. No one likes looking at something that hurts the eyes. If there are too many bells and whistles or too many vibrant colors you are going to lose your audience. Simple is usually best!

3. Be The expert: Develop the ‘Know, Like, Trust’ effect by becoming an expert in your market. Write articles, have free information available, be honest and upfront. If you have the opportunity to share something that you know and enrich someone else’s business/life they will become a source of referrals down the road.

4. Plan Your Attack Strategy: Whit the information you now have you should be able to formulate your marketing plans. Know what you are willing to spend and where you want to spend that money. Figure out if your going to use mail marketing vs. email marketing and know where you are going to get your mailing lists from. (It is always best to use a source you can trust) Know what keywords are best for finding your information online. Figure out where you need to be so that your customers will find you instead of you having to hunt for them.

5. Befriend the media: The media is a huge source of referrals and are more than happy to learn about new inventions, new techniques, new anything. Use the media to your advantage by sharing information. Think of this as an extension of both elements 3 and 4. You are more of an expert in the public mind if the media mentions you or your business. Press releases, on air spots, and other media events should be a part of your attack strategy.

These five elements take planning and effort to be successful. Just as you wouldn’t leave the house without your keys, you don’t want to start your marketing with only one element in place. Figuring out who your marketing needs to reach, where to find them and how best to reach them makes a huge difference in any marketing plan.

VA’s and the Outsourcing Trend

Many small business owners come to a point where they spend more time on the logistics of doing business than actually doing business. This is a frustrating point and for a long time there were only two options to overcome it. 1.- Ignore it, which basically means ignoring some crucial part of running your. or 2.- Hire someone to do the things you don’t like or want to do. Though the latter is far safer and more effective than the first option, there are still issues with it. When you hire someone, you need to work out details like work site, wages, training, scheduling, and more. Not to mention the expense of having to pay someone whether you have work for them or not.

A Third option has been gaining in popularity in recent years: Outsourcing. The official definition of which is: subcontracting a process to a third-party company. Outsourcing or sub-contracting started becoming popular in the 1980’s as a way to reduce overhead and better utilize emerging technology. This is still true to this day. In fact, more and more business owners are finding that outsourcing is letting them do what they love without worrying about the rest!

Business professionals, in a recent Harris Poll survey, stated resoundingly that they would happily outsource a wide variety of tasks. Also noted in this survey was the growing trend toward Virtual Assistants who take on a lot of the outsourced work. Over 55% of those surveyed felt that virtual assistants have helped them focus on the more important and enjoyable parts of their business and helped them improve job performance.

Outsourcing, just like any other aspect of your business, requires planning and preparation. Both parties will need to know what tasks or projects you want done and the parameters within which to do them. Some of the most popular tasks being outsourced are website updates, blog management, article posting, sales writing, database management, research, and bookkeeping.

If you are considering outsourcing, it is advisable to take some time to work out just what tasks or projects you wish to have completed and then look for a business that can do the work you need done. As with every other aspect of business, it is important to do your research and pick a person or company that has experience with the type of work you want done. Not all VA’s do the same things just as not all teachers teach the same subjects.  The best thing to do is carefully consider what you need, source companies and individuals who provide this, and carefully evaluate their skills and alignment with your business model.

I’d love to hear your feedback about what you have successfully (or not so successfully) outsourced!  What kind of business did you outsource to and what were the results?  Is outsourcing working for you?

Best,

Kristi


How To Reconnect With Your Audience

Have you lost touch with your core audience? Wish you knew how to stay in touch with everyone while still having time to run your business? There are ways to stay in touch with your target market, stay current on the trends they are most interested in, and still have time to run your business. Here are three of the best ways to stay in touch and stay on track!

Get Involved: Find out where your audience is and be there. This could be an online forum, networking group or other physical or online location. Take the opportunity to test out ideas with others and get their feedback and reactions.

Show Your Thanks: Show your customers that you appreciate them and they are more likely to become repeat customers. Send them a note of thanks. But don’t stop there! Continue to stay in touch. Make your customers feel like they are special, because they are.

Keep Talking: Communicate with your customers and keep them informed of what is going on not only with your business, but the industry itself. Whether you do so with emails, newsletters, a blog or some other format the most important thing is to stay in touch. In today’s market communication is key!

Champion Assistants Featured Client – Dennis Kelley

Dennis Kelley and the D. Kelley Group

Dennis Kelley is a seasoned business coach with 29 years of professional experience leading teams and coaching people to success. With that many years of experience, Dennis is in high demand as a coach, speaker and an author. Dennis is the author of Achieving Unlimited Success, which he has available in paper and e-book formats. The book is a guide to identifying what has been holding you back and to help you create the life of your dreams.

To find out more about what Dennis offers, check out his website www.achievingunlimitedsuccess.com. Make sure to sign up for his informative newsletters and learn top tips from an expert in business success.

What RSS Can Do For You!

RSS jumped into the market a few years ago, but didn’t really take off until just recently with the release of RSS 2.0 and more recently RSS 2.01. To give you the basics, RSS is a script that is added to many websites, ezines, and other online materials that gives specific information about that material to RSS Readers around the world.

RSS Readers are like newspapers in a sense, as they pool articles and interesting tidbits on many different topics into one location. Basically, an RSS reader will broadcast the information given in the RSS script on any website, article, etc that ranks high on search engine keyword lists. The benefit of using RSS script is that when something of yours does come across a reader, the world sees it.

RSS readers work like free PR in a sense as it doesn’t cost anything to add the RSS script to your online materials. Techie novices beware, RSS script is complex and will likely require a website specialist to add it to your online materials.

Champion Assistants is ready to help you with your RSS project. Please contact us today to find out what we can do for you. Call 425-821-2936 or e-mail info@championassistants.com.

What Do You Charge?

Deciding what to charge clients is a complex process based on factors including cost of goods or services, overhead and business expenses. Lately there is a lot of talk about charging a client what you think you’re worth, which seems vague and possibly self-defeating. What you charge should probably take into account your value to them!

In addition to the above factors, the price you charge depends on the following:

  • Who you attract. Price according to your target clients. If you market to upscale clientele your prices should reflect that.
  • Effective sales process. Define the sales process and make sure it works smoothly every time. Many of us have left a business frustrated by not being able to make a purchase simply because of the inability of the salesperson to take an order, ring it up and deliver. It may seem simple, but make sure your sales process is clear and functional.
  • Persuasive sales language. Using persuasive sales language creates images in prospects’ minds of what they can have by choosing you. A positive image will result in them choosing you and willingness to pay more for what they expect.
  • Congruency of the movie in their mind. Some prospects have a mental image of what their experience with you will be like before they even meet you. Living up to this expectation underscores your value.
  • Be honest about what you can or can’t do. People will pay more for honesty and accurate results.

I would welcome your thoughts and insights on this topic! What factors influence your pricing strategy?

Kind regards,

Heather