Archives for August 2015

Are you spending or investing in your business?

It never ceases to amaze me how many newbie entrepreneurs will invest a boatload of money in a coach or consultant in order to get on the fast track of building their business. Yet, when the coach/consultant advises them on a software program, support team member or system that will save them time and help them achieve their results faster, they nickle and dime themselves saying, “I can't afford it!”

If you're failing to bring on the right support team, you're trying to learn something technical when you are not a technical type person or you're spending untold amounts of time trying to handle all the details of running your business while serving your clients, packaging your knowledge or simply enjoying the process suffers, this video is for you.

What are your thoughts? Post in the comments section.

Ready to skyrocket what you're doing? Join me for Power Up Think Tank!

Why email marketing is less effective than ever before…and what you can do about it

Ask most anyone who’s been online for any length of time if open rates on broadcast emails have gone down and the majority will give you a resounding YES!

By some accounts email marketing is in proverbial toilet. Yet, there are others who say email marketing is still one of the most effective methods they use to promote products and services.

So who’s right; the majority or the handful who swear email marketing is alive and well?

Actually, both. Here’s why.

The majority of people who use email marketing are still throwing mud on the wall and hoping something will stick.

Those who are getting incredible open rates are doing something the others are not; segmenting more than ever before.

You’ve heard how important it is to have a “sweet spot” niche market, but have you heard you need to go deeper into the process?

Case in point… The Women In the Pet Industry Conference. By far, it is one of the best conferences I’ve not only participated in, but also presented at.

wipinAs the title indicates, it is for women – and a few brave men. Additionally, the majority of those in attendance are entrepreneurs. Some are in manufacturing. Others are dog trainers. Still others are service providers such as Debra Hamilton, attorney at law, who is committed to educating pet owners on the ins and outs of making sure you and your pets are protected in case of accidents, illness, death and any unforeseen circumstance life may throw your way.

Although a woman who owns a multi-million dollar company that manufactures dog doors is in the exact same industry as someone who has a $100,000 dog training business, how you market to each is likely different; or at least it should be.

It’s the same with your niche market; there is likely an umbrella industry that has multiple segments within the industry.

Let’s say your market is the dental industry. Would you market the same to dentists as you do hygienists as you do office managers?

If you market the same to each segment there’s a great chance your email open rates are minimal at best. If you segment your marketing, there’s a great chance you'll have a much better open rate by not throwing “marketing mud” on the wall and hoping it will stick.

According to one report by MarketingSherpa, 32% of marketers say segmenting their email database is one of their organization's top objectives, while 52% of marketers say they have a great need to improve email database segmentation.

Not all buyers in an industry are alike. Nor do all buyers have the same buying cycle. Nor will they all buy the same thing.

In my business, I have various levels of investment my buyers make. There are those who are very seasoned, have been in business for years, make a great living and need something very different than those who are just starting out.

More seasoned entrepreneurs may choose my private consulting services over a $27 eBook. Or they may find a small group coaching program is far better for their needs than a $7 report.

What an entrepreneur who has been in business for 20 years needs is very different than the person who is just starting out, doesn’t even have a DBA and is trying to grow their business on a shoestring budget.

What the entrepreneur who has a wealth of knowledge looks for when they create multiple streams of revenue is night and day from someone who wants to create their first eBook.

So before you jump on the bandwagon of those yelling from the mountain tops that email marketing is dead, perhaps you need to look at your marketing behaviors and your overall messaging. Are you lumping all your subscribers into one group over and over? Or are you fine tuning what you’re doing in order to more fully serve your market with your messaging?

Here’s a real life example. On August 27th I’m hosting a webinar for established experts who are ready to turn your knowledge into multiple streams of revenue. This event is perfect for bona fide experts who are ready to quit trading dollars for hours.

If this describes you, join me for a content driven hour of exactly what you need to do to set yourself up for the next level of success.

So what are you doing to fine tune your marketing efforts? Are you clear on the needs of the various segments of your market? If not, isn’t it time to make the necessary changes in order to have a laser beam approach to what you do? I daresay it is.

My business has gone to the dogs

We’ve all heard how important it is to niche what we do and who we do it with. Yet, a great many businesses are so flipping general in what they do they continue to flounder from day to day.

Then there are those who are so clear on what they do, who they do it for and why they do it, business literally comes out of the woodwork.

shawnaaSomething else almost every entrepreneur has heard is that it’s so much easier to do something you're passionate about in business than to do something strictly for the money.

It’s true. When you find your niche and you do what you're passionate about, you can weather the storms that are inevitable in virtually any type of business.

Case in point…Over the past couple of days I’ve been at the Women In the Pet Industry Conference. I’ve met dozens of entrepreneurs who are incredibly passionate about the businesses they run. shawna

Many have their businesses set up to raise awareness about issues specific to animals. Whether it be dogs, cats, horses, birds, ferrets, goats or any of the other animals we have an affinity to, there are those who are overt about their love and passion for animals, and there are those who have businesses outside of the animal industry who continually contribute through a portion of their profits going to causes to improve the quality of the lives of our furry friends.

I’ve spent the past few days realizing how blessed I am to be one among many who love animals and have a commitment to doing what I personally (and professionally) can to raise awareness and funds for those whose life work is directly connected to the animals.

Between those in attendance, millions of dollars are generated yearly in their respective businesses and nonprofits.—money that goes to benefit our furry friends. Yet, there is so much more to be done. It’s truly a never-ending process.

On Friday, I was the opening keynote speaker for the conference. I succeeded in inspiring those in attendance to play at the highest level to do all they can to fulfill their mission with animals. Not only was the group incredibly responsive, we managed to raise a lot of money for some very worthy causes. More on that in a future post.

shawna 2shawna 2For now, I want to do a huge shout out to Shawna L. Schuh for creating such an incredible conference to bring together so many movers and shakers, who are incredibly passionate about the well-being of animals. When I think about how much is being done for raising awareness by each and every person here, it blows my mind.

With everything from solopreneurs to huge corporations being represented at this conference, this is business at its best.

woman of the yearMy post wouldn’t be complete without recognizing the efforts of Yvonne DiVita—2015 Woman of the Year in The Pet Industry. As one of the founders of Blog Paws, Yvonne has worked tirelessly for years to create the largest community of pet bloggers. Blog Paws holds an annual conference that brings together bloggers from around the globe, who are also committed to the well-being and awareness about the needs of every type of animal.

yvonne2Between Shawna and Yvonne, these two women are powerhouse entrepreneurs, who have overcome incredible odds to create a voice for the animals through their businesses.

They have shown, by example, that it takes more than simply having an idea, and that in order to make positive changes in the world you absolutely must put the idea into action.

Congratulations to Shawna for the success of the 2015 Women in the Pet Industry Conference! You knocked it out of the park.

And congratulations to Yvonne for being the well-deserving recipient of 2015 The Woman Of the Year In the Pet Industry.

I love and respect both of you! Keep doing such an amazing and PAWSOME job! You are a blessing.