Have you been breaking promises just lately?
“What?” I hear you exclaim! Me? Break promises? Never!
Well good on you if you don’t because I have discovered there are far too many out there who do. And I bet they are losing numerous sales because of it without even realising.
Over the past couple of months, I have been promised numerous things from thank you gifts for completing surveys, to information sheets following up treatments to trial samples of products. And these have failed to be delivered.
At first, I wondered if it was just me. But then I started to notice a few times on social media where someone had run a promotion, promised to send the prize to the winner, but had failed to do so. The winner had turned from being delighted to being somewhat narky having to ask when they were going to receive their prize.
And I have to be honest, when someone promises me something that I haven’t asked for I am delighted and excited. But when said item fails to materialise, I feel a little narked. Why did they bother offering anything in the first place.
Before you go making quick off the cuff promises to impress, think carefully if you can actually deliver on your promise. And if you can, get organised!! Carry a notebook or diary at all times and write down what you have promised to do. And then do it!
If you don’t keep your promise, you could well lose future sales.
I purchased from a lady recently and was fully prepared to buy again. When chatting to her she promised to send me a free gift to try first. When it failed to arrive, I felt that she didn’t really care about my custom and didn’t really care if I went back and purchased again or not. So, I didn’t. And I am sourcing someone else to buy from.
If you don’t keep up your end of the bargain, buyers will lose trust in you. They won’t believe that you will able to deliver in the future and so may take their hard earned money elsewhere.
Go back and look through past prospects and clients. Did you promise anything that you failed to deliver? If so, see if it’s not too late to rectify the situation and gain that trust back.
How to get more money to keep your business alive
One of the most common worries for female entrepreneurs that I talk to is not having enough money. They constantly worry about not having enough clients and not making enough sales and this can then lead into a self-fulfilling prophecy. They need to find a way to get more money quickly to keep their business dream alive.
It is said that we become what we think about the most, so if we constantly focus on our lack of money, this is what we will attract. Whilst we are desperate to get more money, our behaviour is actually blocking us from getting it.
When we don’t have enough money coming in each month, this can lead to bad decisions being made. Corners are cut to save costs. We don’t invest in the tools and support that would take our business to the next level. We start to discount and offer sales to try and get in some cash but don’t realise our net profit is now non-existent.
But how to get out of this vicious cycle?
How to get more money
Many businesses do not make money in their first year. For some, it can be even longer than this. Getting a business off the round takes time, energy and money. So maybe it is time for a reality check.
Work out how much you need to have to be able to sustain your business and pay your bills for the next 12 months. And then work out ways to get this.
Take paid employment
It may be that you need to continue with paid employment to cushion your bank balance until you get your business off the ground and making a decent profit. This could be just a few part time hours each month that will ease the financial pressure.
Use savings and investments
If you have savings or investments, use them to invest in your business. I have met others who tell me they are not prepared to risk their savings on their business venture. My answer to them is that obviously don’t believe their business is going to succeed with this mindset so they should go back to the drawing board and do more research for a business they truly believe in.
What can you sell?
Do you have things you can sell to bring in some much-needed revenue to tide you over? I know of a lady who sold her top of the range car and bought an old banger because she needed to raise some funds to follow her dream of a home-based business. I know of another lady who went through her house and consistently sold unused items on eBay to gain much needed extra monthly income. These were both women who were determined to succeed!
Take out a loan
If you have done your research and are confident of it being a success, consider taking out a loan to allow you to invest in what you need to take your forward. Yes, there is a risk with taking out a loan and using up all your savings, but then show me a high flying business owner who didn’t take a risk somewhere along the way. If you hold back just in case things don’t work out, you are subconsciously admitting defeat already which is not the right frame of mind for someone who truly wants to be successful. You have to believe in yourself and your product or service 100% or you are simply playing at this and running a hobby, not a business.
A lot of women I meet have some serious money blocks and if this is you and you want to get more money to keep your business alive, try out EFT or tapping. A bit woo woo for some but I have seen some incredible results from those who have done it.
Go read ‘Get Rich, Lucky Bitch’ by Denise Duffield-Thomas. She has her own unique style of helping you get over your money blocks and to start believing that wealth is on its’ way to you.
So stop constantly worrying about not having enough money and start to change your thinking and find a way that can bring more money into your business. Remember, where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Have you any tips of your own? Share them in the comments below.
Guest blog from Vicki Nicolson
Vicki Nicolson Branding Therapy
When you first started out in business I bet you thought, right, I’ll press my publish button on my Facebook page, launch my site, set up all my different social media accounts and then BOOM I’ll get loads of clients. And as soon as you did all this you got a few likes from friends and well wishes but not actual paying customers, am I right?
So here’s the thing when it comes to your lovely business, you really are the only one who cares about it more than anyone else. You are your biggest fan because you believe that you can do great things, change people’s lives and make a real difference. So why aren’t you telling anyone? Why are you sitting looking at competitor websites, pages and posts? Whilst in the back of your mind there is a little voice telling you, OH MY GOD THIS IS NEVER GONNA WORK, YOU ARE CRAP and YOU CAN NOT DO THIS.
This is called being normal! Brands build their reputation and recognition over time. There is no such thing as an overnight success. Speak to anyone in business and they will tell you the same thing. Crickey, Apple were literally on the verge of going bankrupt until Steve Jobs returned to Apple. They had to work mighty hard to get to where there are now.
So how can you too become a brand magnet and stand out from the crowd? Here are my 3 simple steps to help to magnetise your brand and supercharge your business.
Step #1 – BE YOU
Your brand is all about personality. You know already what makes you different but sometimes we just don’t have the guts to show our true colours and confidence holds us back. Find something you love doing, be YOU and be consistent and I guarantee you will feel more at ease with your brand and your biz.
So just be YOU. That is the one piece of advice I give on a daily basis. Stick your name in your biz name. This is key advice, especially for the coaching market. Right now I see a lot of coaches entering the market, using your own name makes you unique and will make you stand out in an overcrowded marketplace. Sticking you name right in there in your business also makes you look passionate about your business too. You love it so god damn much you put your name to it. This also works, especially if it is just you in the business.
Write your copy for your site the way you want to. Post on your FB page when you want and not on the basis of your insights – I get way more engagement when I don’t even take notice of my insights stats. And tell your brand story – tell people how you came up with your business idea, what your passion is and how you help them. People are intrigued by how you can help them. The whole brand building process is about building an emotional connection with you so that ultimately they buy from you.
Step #2 – Use eye-catching images and don’t blend in
First impressions matter – it takes milliseconds for your potential customers to form an opinion about your website, logo and visual branding, font, colours, spacing, symmetry etc so your brand image is everything.
Using eye-catching brand images will enhance your brand’s image ten-fold. I know the hard part can be finding just the ‘right’ image for your meme, Facebook cover or brochure but the biggest secret behind captivating your audience is to follow some of my simple basic steps to help you pull some images together fast.
- Try to choose images based on the relevance of what you are posting and writing about.
- Don’t blend in. So for instance, if you sell ethical products then it would be obvious to use all things green and eco related right? WRONG! Go down a different path, choose a different colour, like pink with a use of teal and yellow instead, and images of laughing women seem to get the most engagement on my own Facebook page. Try it and see.
- Use quirky images that pop and don’t just copy and paste other people’s quotes when you are posting memes, find your own voice and write your own quotes based on your own opinions.
- Use well-composed images that ooze greatness and that are well thought out.
Overall think about the emotion you are trying to communicate. How do you want you tribe to feel? You want to build an emotional connection with your brand, how will you communicate that?
Step #3 – Professionally brand yourself
We’re all drawn to visual gorgeousness. It attracts interest and it creates desire for something. If you want to make more money in your business right now then you need to create an exciting and irresistible brand identity for your biz. A well-developed brand identity is key for clients and customers in their decision making process. According to Google research, users spend most time focusing on your logo before moving on within a website – it’s 6.48 seconds – yup that’s more time than anywhere else on your site! Yikes! You literally have seconds to win them over. 94% of first impressions are design related. Google research, overall, said this, “invest in design – it’s what matters the most for pulling users in.”
The benefits of having a good logo are tenfold:
- It makes you look established, bigger, committed and reputable
- Conveys you are professional
- It explains your company name
- You will stand out from others in a similar field or explains an unusual line of business
It’s a no brainer to get yourself a good logo and consistent branding across all your marketing materials and that includes things like photoshoots, your office space and even down to what specific piece of clothing you wear. I am known for my love of all things pink – I wear a lot of pink. So my brand is pink. Nails are painted pink… Professional branding identity will boost your business and your confidence.
Once you nail these simple steps you will start to ask yourself, how can I do more with my brand?
Your brand will evolve over time but you need to be committed, consistent, be your biggest fan and be hands on in your brand. It needs daily maintenance, it needs love and your customers need to be engaged. So be prepared to look after your brand. Post every day, mingle in groups, get your name out there, be the expert, stand out from the crowd and be in it for the long haul and I guarantee it will supercharge your sales.
Vicki is a creative branding stylist, designing magnetic branding for women in business throughout the world.
Vicki has two decades of graphics, marketing and communications expertise. She enjoyed a lucrative career working as an in-house designer for international corporations and when her son turned four she decided it was time to take the leap and follow her dream of running her own business.
Using her power of creativity Vicki helps women stand out from the crowd by branding businesses in such a way to target desired clients and to help convert customers into paying ones.
For more information: www.brandingtherapy.co.uk