Accessibility is important to your prospects and customers. So few marketers are truly open to hearing from their customers and when it happens, word spreads and you cultivate the right kind of reputation.

 

Many marketers put up a wall between themselves and their online audience. They don’t engage in blog comment discussions once a post is created. Even Seth Godin himself doesn’t even allow comments on his blog anymore – and he’s always talking about developing a loyal tribe.

 

So it’s good to see marketers who are there for their audience and who take time to interact with the people who need and want their help. There are even some marketers who create a help desk so that tickets are opened, rather than a simple email sent.

 

Of course that’s an option for you, and it might even be necessary if you have a lot of technique elements to your site, but it means a lot when your reader can just contact you – and get a response from you, not a virtual assistant that you’ve hired – or worse – made up to make it look like you’re more important than you really are (it happens).

 

The best way to be accessible as a leader in your niche is to do the following:

 

  • Respond to people on social networks like Twitter, G+, and Facebook.
  • Respond to blog comments whenever you go in to approve them.
  • Reply personally to your emails.
  • Open comments up on things like YouTube videos to show you care about feedback.

 

All of these things take time, yes. But that’s where you can really put a personal touch on your usually sterile online business. Going the extra mile can serve you well as a niche leader. It shows you care.

 

You don’t have to incorporate all of these elements in one day. It will take some time to integrate them all into your business, and you may have to outsource in some other areas. The point is, be open to finding ways to engage with your audience whenever you can.

 

When you’re a real leader, you’re never running solo the entire time you spend growing an online business. The top marketers understand that you work individually, but you stay connected with a team of like-minded leaders on the ‘net.

 

Don’t be afraid of your competition – embrace them. They can be guest bloggers or invite you to guest blog on their site, they can co-create products with you, and they can cross-promote you whenever you sign up as an affiliate to promote one of their products.

 

Don’t just look to people who are bigger in status than you are, either. You want to keep an eye out for rising stars in your niche and help make them well-known, too.

 

It’s not just competitors who you should align yourself with, either. It’s anyone whose products or services are related to your niche in some way. Let’s go through an example.

 

Suppose you run a wellness blog that teaches people how to embrace a healthy lifestyle through nutrition. You want people to adopt lifelong eating habits that improve their lives.

 

You can certainly promote other leaders in the wellness niche – like someone specializing in juicing, for example – but you also want to connect with someone whose information is relevant, if not directly identical.

 

An exercise and fitness leader would be a good example of this. People learning about proper nutrition often want the whole body approach, which means moving your body and getting fit.

 

You also might want to align with:

 

  • A parenting leader so you can help their audience learn about good nutrition for growing kids.
  • An aging leader so you can teach good nutrition for senior citizens.
  • A job success leader so you can offer information about staying alert and energetic during a long workday.

 

There are endless possibilities for someone if you think about the target audience who needs what you teach and then consider who else they might be learning from. Here are some more examples:

 

  • A smoking cessation leader so you can help smokers quit their habit without gaining a lot of weight.
  • An Amazon affiliate who runs a site about desserts so you can provide information on healthier dessert options.
  • A skincare leader so you can teach proper nutrition that helps your skin maintain its youth and appeal.

 

Make a list and then make it a point to reach out to those other leaders and form a bond with them so that you can help each other out as you both grow your online business.

 

Stay tuned for our final installment in this series, coming next week.

 

When you first started marketing online, did you have dreams of waking up in your pajamas, setting up a little bit of content that you carefully crafted with just the right keyword density – and then watching the money roll in?

 

Well, it may have worked that way once upon a time, but thanks to automated tools and scummy spammers, search engines cracked down on that minimalist work strategy, and now you have to go to a little bit more effort.

 

You might be nervous about being a leader in your niche. You might have these common feelings:

 

  • Who would want to listen to me?
  • I don’t have anything unique to say.
  • I’m nobody, and there are already leaders in this niche.

 

These feelings are normal, but they’re not accurate. Be honest. How would you like it – as a consumer – if you only had one choice for a restaurant, a salon, a clothing line, a music style, a grocery store, etc.?

 

You probably wouldn’t like it much, right? It’s the same way with leaders in a niche. Consumers connect with leaders in different ways. Some people might love sarcastic, hard-selling individuals – and you can’t fathom why – because you prefer sweet, motivating people.

 

Everyone’s different. And whatever you have to offer, it’s going to have an audience for it – your style, your voice, your message – it’s unique to everyone else even if you’re talking about the same niche topic.

 

You don’t have to be an expert already. People love following along with someone on their journey from start to finish – so share where you’re at and work from there.

 

There are several ways you can position yourself as a leader – in a way that’s comfortable to you. It doesn’t mean you have to get out there and brag about how wonderful you are – it means you do the right thing and your audience automatically lifts you up to authority status.

 

Be a Researcher and a Sharer

 

No matter what niche you’re in, there’s news that needs to be shared. There are new:

 

  • Breakthroughs
  • Trends
  • Strategies
  • Products
  • People

 

You want to share all of that with your target audience. Yes, even share who your competitors are! We’ll get more into that in future posts. If you’re in the anti-aging niche, for example, you might share a medical breakthrough that helps plump up crow’s feet.

 

Maybe you’ll see a news story about how women are flocking to plastic surgeons to get rid of their “Madonna Mitts” – which is what the industry termed her aging hands.

 

You can share things like which anti-aging treatments people can do at home that you’ve tried and feel work best. Stay abreast of top manufacturers’ or sellers’ product releases and then talk to your audience about it.

 

Your blog or your email subscriber list will be the place where your subscriber feels they can go to gather all of the information they want. They don’t want to have to go all over the Internet and buy a bunch of different products to see what works best – that’s what they’ll love you for!

 

Whenever you blog about something with a cutting edge slant to it, you increase your worth in the niche. Your readers will bookmark and share your site with others; they’ll trust your recommendations whenever you want to promote something, too.

 

The lazy (unsuccessful) marketer does nothing but looks at keyword volume, outsource their content to ghostwriters without injecting any of their personality, and copycats the real leaders who are out there working for their audience the way they should be.

Our next post will cover how you can align yourself with the best people.

business growth essentials

 

If your business isn’t growing then it is failing. If you aren’t moving forward then you are moving backwards. Once you have the right people in place and have developed a good customer base your company should focus on continual growth. There are lots of ways to promote growth in your company and the specifics will be based on your particular business. For example, growth for a retail business may mean opening a new store front or developing a new product line. Growth for an IT company could be purchasing or developing a new system. Whatever your company does you need to figure out ways to expand it. This goes beyond just figuring out ways to earn more money.

Creating Strong Business Relationships

Creating business relationships that are strong is the foundation of growing your business. Customers, clients, suppliers and business associates are the life blood of your business’s growth. You simply cannot forge ahead down the path to success without these helpers, which means you need to develop long-lasting and meaningful relationships with them. These relationships are established on trust and honesty.

Communicate often.

Communication between your business contacts is extremely important. This is especially true of your customers and your suppliers. These contacts rely on you to tell them what is going on, which includes letting them in on any problems you are experiencing. Communication should be a top priority for your business relationships.

Meet deadlines.

When a customer deals with your business they expect you to hold up your end of the bargain and deliver on your promises. This certainly means meeting your deadlines. When you promise something to a customer or supplier, you want them to consider your word as your bond. Not having to worry if your business will fulfill its requirements builds trust with customers.

Try to prevent surprises.

Customers and clients generally don’t like surprises; especially if the service your company provides has a direct link to their livelihood. While it may not be possible for you to prevent unwanted things from happening, being honest with your customers and maintaining communication with them regarding what is going on can help you to eliminate unwanted surprises.

 

 

 

 

How to Make the Most of

 

 

How to Make the Most of a Failed Business Strategy

 

In the world of entrepreneurship, there are times when your strategy is going to fail. Obviously, your goal is to minimize this is much as possible and work as hard as you can to make a strategy work so that it doesn’t fail. But sometimes, there is nothing you can do to avoid it and you must cut your losses and move on. But before you go on to the next opportunity, you should know how to make the most of a failed strategy and learn from it so you’ll be better in the future.

 

Find out Why It Didn’t Work

 

Your first task is to find out why the strategy didn’t work. This might be difficult but it will be vital to not making the same mistake in the future. If you just shrug your shoulders and move on, you could make the same mistakes in the future that caused the strategy to fail. But if you know what mistakes you made, how to fix them or avoid them in the future, you’ll have a big head start towards connecting to new opportunities. Keep in mind, it is usually a combination of several factors that make a strategy fail and not just one single problem.

 

Don’t Let Discouragement and Negativity Keep You from Moving Forward

 

Just because a business strategy failed doesn’t mean that you, personally, are a failure. In fact, the very fact that you failed shows that you’re willing to take a risk and put yourself out there. Most successful people fail several times before they get it right. If they had stopped after one or two failures they would’ve never gotten to the point they are today. A good example of this is novelist Stephen King. He had hundreds of rejection slips posted on his wall before finally getting published and now he’s the most successful novelist of the 20th century.

 

Find out What Did Work

 

Finally, you’re going to break down the strategy as you’re looking for reasons that it failed and find out what things did work. You can use those same things in the future when you’re ready to begin a new strategy. Knowing what worked and what didn’t can be a powerful asset in your next endeavor and understanding what actually did work can teach you just as much is figuring out what didn’t work about a strategy.