How I Bought Into Richard Branson’s Storytelling

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In 1999 at the president’s inauguration I was a wine steward and had the pleasure of meeting Richard Branson. True to his media persona he was very polite down to earth and courteous, Mr Branson showed a genuine interest in what you had to say.

This was a perfect example of someone that embodied their brand and reflected his down-to-earth persona. It was so effective I purchased Losing My Virginity: How I’ve Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way the very next day.

Richard Branson is a master in storytelling, after listening to thousands of pitches, here are his 3 valuable communication tips that will help you elevate your skills for the next pitch.

  1. Great storytelling makes you memorable
  1. Your best ideas should fit on a beer coaster
  • In the interview below with Carmine Gallo, Branson was presented with a beer mat, a cocktail napkin and an envelope. He takes the items, looks into the camera and explains why he’s only interested in ideas that can fit on those items. The segment begins at 2 minutes and 45 seconds into the video.
  • You can watch it here or click the image below.

  1. Influence with simplicity  
  • It’s well known that Branson acknowledges his challenges with dyslexia; he dropped out of school at the age of 16, as it was part of the reason.
  • He adapted and used it as an “a massive advantage” it trained Virgin to communicate simply.

So, to all entrepreneurial minds out there, look at what story you have, combine it with your unique background, and begin crafting your story.

We love to hear what the response you received after applying this method, keep us posted!

Marketing To Misunderstood Millennials

Simon Sinek, well know speaker of “Start with why” almost broke the Internet with the interview ‘The Millennial Question’.

He made valuable observations by stating the urgency to bridge the gap for millennials (anyone born after 1982). He states that a combination of parenting shortcomings and social media-fuelled instant gratification has created a generation that is unable to put in the hard work to achieve their dreams.

I believe like any generation they have dreams, huge ones, they’re constantly celebrated for their savviness and promised the world.  As a marketer, how do we gain the trust of this much-misunderstood generation?

  1.     Keep it Nonchalant
  • Commitment is not the key. They can rent it instead.
  • Don’t make their experiences feel rigid. Put their needs first, approach gently and win their consideration first. Produce content that educates, adds value and shareable moments.
  • Make them look crafty and you might just get a commitment in the future.
  1.     Keep it Personal
  • They are familiar with hyper personalised marketing (Micro Moments) to the point that they filter out anything else.
  • Before making a decision, there is a very good chance that they consult digital information platform for a trusted opinion. Reviews, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
  • Gather this data to craft personalised content that answers their questions and they’ll thank you for it.
  1.     Are You a Good Business or an Amazing One?
  • Let them know you are making a difference. If you unify in their belief they can help right the wrongs done by the previous generation, they’re more likely to buy into a company if it’s doing some good.
  • Embrace this need and find a digital collaborator, they can build and share your story. Learn to adapt.
  1.     Be Authentic
  • Be sincere, communicate to your audience level, whatever that might look like. When you get it right, their brand advocates will turn their friends into brand advocates too.
  • Engage with them in an authentic way to build true Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

We shop with our eyes, make it beautiful, or please don’t bother. Push the boundaries and make your content smarter, quirkier than you think is ‘safe’ and chances are they’ll admire it.

 

You Have Less Than 7 Weeks Left To Turn Your 2017 Around

You Have Less Than 7 Weeks Left To Turn Your 2017 Around

It’s no secret that 2017 has been tough for the majority, with less than 7 weeks to go before business winds up for the year. I’ve summarised an effective sales plan that will help you accelerate your way to success before the year ends.

Referred to as the “championship rounds” in boxing, the last few meters of a 100M sprint, be smart with the last bit of mental energy you have left and sell, sell, sell.

Implement these 5 steps and achieve 2017 revenue targets and set up a great start to 2018.

1- Be Laser Focused on Your Customers

You’ll never be one size fits all to everyone, review your client base and define 3 to 5 groups of customers that your business serves, and solves problems for.

 Grouping Map

●     Customers that behave similarly, have similar problems and face similar circumstances.

●     Define the groups by age, volume, category, geographic location, and similar demographics. The more components you assign to each group, the better you understand them, and effectively communicate your services to them, ultimately solving their pain points.

●     Personalize with a name it e.g. Sarah is a 30-year-old white collar worker that lives in the urban area, earns R30’000 a month in household income, she sends money back home each month “Black Tax”  to support family members that live in a rural area.

2- What Goes Through Their Minds Before Making a Purchase?

●     Whether it’s subconscious or psychological, people buy solutions to problems, especially in a tight economy.

●     In order to stay relevant to your customers yesterday today and tomorrow. Continue to evolve and develop your products and services to ensure you are solutions driven.

3- Build The Right Pitch

As each of your customer group face their unique challenges. Build a pitch that positions your communication for each customer group to maximise effectiveness.

Follow these 5 important pitch building steps

●     Who is the consumer?

●     What is the pain point that you’re looking to solve?

●     What is the setback for your consumer to not have that pain point solved?

●     What do you do to solve that pain point?

●     What is the result for your consumer, of having that pain point solved?

Once you’ve built the pitch, utilising them adequately, and start selling!

 4- Implement Your Strategy

This revenue-generating strategy has 2 aspects: hunting (Active) and farming (Reactive)

●     Hunting takes on the form of outbound action. Searching, meeting and engaging with your potential clients. In short, stepping out and finding your customers.

●     Farming is more reactive, it is known as inbound selling. You farm by leaving breadcrumbs that lead your customers towards your services. This is done by generating practical content and using digital platforms to attract attention towards your services or products.

●     Build a calendar for your hunting and farming activities, for the next 12 weeks, and specify tasks for each day.

5- Execute, Measure, Adjust

●     Hunting: Make 10 calls before 10 am each day, make use of a sales script, this forms part of your daily activities.

●     Farming: Schedule a week’s worth of social media content to post.

●     After week one find out which group gives you the best response, tweak it & carrying on.

This plan will help you to notice which approaches yield the best results. You’re able to remove what doesn’t work and focus your time on what leads to the most sales. May this help you turn the last 7 weeks of the business year into a profitable one.

Marketing Lessons You Can Learn From “Money” Mayweather vs “The Notorious” McGregor

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On Sunday morning 27 August like many around the world, I got up early to witness the money fight.  According to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Mayweather was guaranteed $100 million and McGregor was guaranteed $30 million.  When I converted that into Rands I ran out of zeros.  I was also struck by the similarities between professional sport (in this instance, fighting) and marketing.

Like a well-positioned brand, any claims that you make in your marketing message need to be backed up. For the show, all of the trash talking and the brash attitude they demonstrated across social media is only backed up when it delivers a knockout.

Here are some key marketing takeaways

  1. Always focus on your end game

2. Make It Appealing

  • They made history, by matching up the 2 best fighters in their respective sports and pitting fans of boxing vs. UFC against each other to settle the score on the long-running debate.
  • Create intrigue and debate, media posted questions like, “Could the best UFC fighter in history beat the greatest boxer of his generation with only his fists?” “do boxers really punch harder than UFC fighters?” And, at age 40, Mayweather also faced the question, “is he too old?”

3. Expand Into New Market Channels

As a boxing fan and a marketing geek myself, it’s most rewarding when both fighters put on a good show. McGregor’s post-fight comment about Mayweather summed it up. “He’s not that fast, he’s not that powerful, but boy is he composed.”

You don’t always have to be the fastest, flashiest, or strongest. Just keep validating with your endgame in sight.

 

Ready To Launch – Your 5 Steps Checklist Before Launching

Photo Cred: summitevergreen.com

Photo Cred: summitevergreen.com

Well-known management consultant Peter Drucker spoke about it a decade ago “the purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer.”

Sales are the bloodline of any business and acquiring new customers is a vital part that keeps your businesses afloat and growing. There might be few buyers paying a big retainer or simply attracting traffic visiting your site, how you obtain and retain clients is the ultimate goal. Before you launch your business ask yourself: Are you really prepared for more customers and orders? Are the platform and logistics geared to handle an inflow of visitors & queries?

Perhaps for start-ups, the client acquisition journey is hardly linear or predictable, that doesn’t discount the importance of thoughtful planning.

Even though the client acquisition process is not an exact science. There will always be things that can (and do) go wrong, speak to any business owner and will share the sentiments.

What’s your promotion strategy – E-mail marketing or social media? These 5 steps will help you establish what client acquisition is and how to execute them effectively.

1. Is your product ready for client acquisition?

You have spent countless hours (if not years) developing the product, once your product hits the market and begin to attract customers the execution of your user acquisition process must be planned out very carefully.

Before going live on the website ask and test the following:

  • Is your platform ready for orders, or are there still bugs that will expose the faults in customer experience/ user journey?
  • Do you have adequate customer support? Can your team respond to the questions & concerns of new customers in a timely fashion?
  • Do people outside your company understand your product, In other words, if you explain it to a 5-year-old will they get it?

These are some questions that need answering before going live.

2. Why being prepared counts

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English writer Lewis Carroll, author of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” once said, “If you don’t know where you are going any road can take you there.

It’s essential to have a well-planned customer acquisition strategy, consider the following.

  • Start off with a framework, even very basic plan, Yes, plans change (especially with start-ups).
  • A plan of action for obtaining customers is strongly advisable as it lays down a foundation (You wouldn’t build your house on sand would you?)
  • Make use of a document automation software (Built-in electronic signatures, workflow management, a document builder, and CPQ Configure Price Quote Software) I find pandadoc very user-friendly, cloud-based with loads of templates.

3. Build the right team

Regardless of the size of your team in start-ups, they are known to wear many hats, the ability to react quickly to hiccups is a game of inches.

Here are some scenarios.

  • If there is an unexpected bug in the sign-up/sales process, how quickly can your development team react and fix the problem?
  • Bad news travels fast, the incident of United Airline passenger being dragged off in April 2017 ( the video was shared 87,000 times and viewed 6.8 million times in less than a day.) A Wiki page was created in the process
  • When customer complaints occur, be proactive with your efforts in communications/social media to fix the situation.
  • In order to do that, your team needs to have a clear understanding of whom to turn to when problems occur.

4. Estimate the Cost of Customer Acquisition (CAC)

Do you have an estimate of your cost to acquire customers (CAC) laid out?

  • CAC is the cost of all of your sales and marketing expenses over a given period of time, divided by the number of customers acquired in that period.
  • An estimate will help you be prepared, you will have a better sense of your CAC once you begin acquiring customers, and it will change with time.

5. Create demand

It’s natural to want to get your product into the hands of everyone who needs it. But thinking about how to influence the masses leads to missteps in understanding what’s driving the decisions of the few people you have the best chance of reaching and impacting right now.

Like any revolution, success happens one user, one customer, one raving fan at a time. Never be afraid to start small.

 

How To Build Your Brand With 140 Characters

What's your story

 

Perception is the reality, and often the truth is an illusion.  We most certainly don’t know the whole truth about the products we buy, review and use. Marketing is storytelling, not all marketers are liars, they are bad storytellers.

“What is the one thing I want my clients to know?” This should be the question you pitch to a potential client.

In order to communicate your USP (Unique Selling Point) more effectively, compose a Tweet-friendly headline into your pitch. A good example is Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Advice on Entrepreneurship for Starting and Growing a Business.” An early investor in Google who said the Google guys—Sergey Brin and Larry Page—were able to explain their new service to investors in one sentence: Google allows you to access the world’s information in one click. Read the original story here

The majority of SMEs neglect their company’s story and how it comes across, practice these 4 step exercise below until you are confident it embodies your company and product.

1. What do you do?

2. What difficulty do you solve?

3. How is your offering or service different?

4. Why should your clients care?

Try answer each of the following 4 questions by using this Twitter exercise. If you can’t describe your product in a sentence, go back to the drawing board. It’s vital to not let your idea die because you’ve lost the attention of your audience. Capture your audience in the first 60 seconds and they’ll want to hear more.

Next time tell the story of your product and build it into your pitch. The creative may be part of it, the message may be part of it, essentially, your product and your service and your team are all part of the story. Tell it with meaning, as one thing that we do know and often talk about is our story.

In the beginning … there was an idea. How to create a successful digital strategy in 3 steps

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Is your silver bullet packing the punch your business needs? Marketing your business in a digital world means more than ‘instant gratification’. Is your business’ digital marketing strategy able to deliver to this market?

  • The consumer: Impatient, demanding, and constantly on the go. According to IAB SA Interactive Advertising Bureau of South Africa in February 2017 66.2% of Unique Browsers come from mobile. How does this affect your business? In short, it means that in the digital era, there is a demand for you to market your company’s services or products to potential clients.
  • The direction: any effort you make will be fruitless. To standout in the Digital first world, you need a plan an effective digital strategy to ensure your efforts & time make maximum impact.

Digital Candy Consulting compiled 3 tips to digital empowerment.

Define your Golden Circle

What’s the ‘Golden Circle’, you say? It’s the starting point of any sound digital strategy, the Golden Circle is a way of looking at why your company exists. Watch the originator, Simon Sinek talk on TED http://bit.ly/2nSsMV3 Viewed 31,214,480 as of 22 March 2017

When we ask businesses this question, the default is to think about what (Product) they offer; instead, you should start with why.

Think why your business began in the first place. What was the starting point; what was the vision? By addressing this starting point, you’ll be able to tell a brand story that strikes a chord with your audience.

To effectively use the Golden Circle methodology, you should focus on these 3 points in the following order:

  1. Why: Why does the business exist?
  2. How: How will this help your clients, and how will you achieve your why?
  3. What: what are you actually offering (Product) to your target clients?

Once you have distinct answers of the above and carefully crafted your brand message, you’ll be able to think about exactly who you want to share it with.

Think of your story and share it with us.