First off, I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! This is my FAVORITE time of the year both personally and for business. It’s a time to reflect on the joys and challenges, think through what worked and didn’t work in my business and dream about what 2015 might bring.
Over the weekend I did a lot of reflecting (I have a lot more to do, lol…) and as I was just commenting on Donna Merrill’s article “The 10 Best Ways To Blog in 2015” it reminded me of all the changes this last year has brought.
You see, I’ve been in web design, search engine optimization and social media marketing in one way or another for the last ten years. I took a break for about 18 months in 2011- 2013 to try some other things that didn’t go as planned, so in late 2013 I went back into web design.
Over the years, I have learned the web industry so well that I love helping my clients with ideas and inspiration to help them learn how to grow their businesses through the internet.
Almost all of my clients are businesses primarily offline but they want to learn how to use the internet to grow their businesses. They know that something is wrong with mass marketing like TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, flyers, brochures, etc… They have watched their numbers slowly decline as their prospects move online more and more each year and more and more tune out the advertisements.
I’ve seen that when marketing is done right the opportunities and sales are there, but it has required a major shift in thinking. I’ve learned through a lot of experience, testing and reading books like the Emyth series by Michael Gerber, “It’s Not What You Sell, It’s What You Stand For” by Roy Spences Jr., and “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek.
With all of the experience and education over the years, I decided that I could better help people by teaching them how to build a world class business website with a blog. So I created some new services and moved away from web design and production to teach people how to build their online presence in a profitable way for their businesses.
What it has evolved into is:
- Consulting for clients of web designers, search engine optimization companies, social companies and graphic designers to help their clients help them. For a small fee, I spend four to six weeks teaching their clients “what business they are ‘really’ in” from the public’s point of view, what problems they solve, who the “specifically” solve them for and how their products and services are part of a solution. This will help any web based production company as well by giving them the tools they need to really help their clients.
- 1-on1 Consulting or coaching with companies who want to make the transition to online marketing. I teach them things learned above but also go into much more details helping them build strategies, goals and objectives and understanding how the web works holistically to help their business grow.
- In 2015 we’ll be starting small group online masterminds that allow the same teaching but at a lesser price and in group learning environment.
- Business coaching for web designers, search engine optimization, social media and graphic design companies. It’s perfect for start-ups, freelancers or those who want to break free from struggling at growing their business but are great at their craft.
My blog is at the core of my marketing! But, the blog had to have strategies, goals and objectives and if blogging can work for you, I had to first prove it would work for me.
How did I do it?
- I have a philosophy that every article I write has to solve one problem for one person and be worth the reader’s time or I’ve failed both them and myself.
- I shared my blog articles on specific places were my target audience hangs out:
- That means my LinkedIn connections, Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and Google Plus audience must be made up of my primary and secondary audience members (I really explain the different audiences it in this post titled “Help! I Don’t Understand Why My Content Marketing Isn’t Getting Better Results”)
- Content curation sites like Triberr, growthhackers.com, inbound.org, , Dosplash and Kingged.com.
- I worked at creating relationships and a blog community with some incredible influencers who serve the same audience I do in a different way and I worked to create incredible value for them by including them in blog articles, social media posts and videos.
So what does that mean for my readers, prospects and clients?
It means when they visit my blog they see a lot of high quality comments and conversations. When they see my social media they see a lot of shares and engagement. That means something in a world where a lot of marketers are talking a good game for others but don’t demonstrate their competency by doing anything for themselves.
That is really an important thing to me for people to see me as a competent and credible.
In 2014, I was featured in a blog articles, videos, social media posts or was a guest blogger nearly 300 times. The audience I was exposed to was HUGE! It is easily in the millions. That means my ideas were spread wide and deep across the web to my primary and secondary audience.
What is so cool is that in just the last ten days I was invited to become a regular contributor on SEMRush.com. This is no small thing in my plans and it was an unexpected surprise.
2014 was Just Setting the Stage
While 2014 has been one of the best and most fulfilling times in my entrepreneurial journey, 2015 will be even better. But it won’t be by accident. If it were not for the time, energy, resources and efforts of 2014 there is no way 2015 could happen!
I have some very aggressive strategies and goals for 2015:
- Expand upon connecting with influencers who are business bloggers and business journalists who blog.
- Expand my video blog series titled “Q&A” with Don. Here are a few I’ve already produced and posted:A Real
- Reason You’re Marketing is Not Generating Business
- Help! I Don’t Understand Why My Content Marketing Isn’t Getting Better Results?
- One Great Reason You Are Not Getting Sales from Your Website!
- How Do I Build A Business When It Feels Like I’m Always Failing?
- What is the Difference Between Marketing and Sales?
- Starting a new podcast series to inspire business owners through other business owners experiences. Already we’ve planned some amazing, experienced long-time business owners who have achieved massive success in the $100 millions of dollars over their entrepreneurial careers. Stay tuned and you’re going to want to learn from these amazing people!!!! Thanks to Tim Kerin, Joey Dalessio and Karl Diffenderfer for agreeing already (check their website links below).
- I will be accepting a blog post contributor each week by invitation only. I’m lining up some great bloggers for you.
- I will be contributing to SEMRush.com starting in January and I’m excited about that. I’ve also been approached by several business journals to be a regular contributor.
- I will be looking for guest blogging opportunities in 2015. I have three coming out over the next month and in June I’m excited to be contributing in Adrienne Smith’s amazing blog!
- Create an online self-paced training program for business owners who want to change their messaging and online presence and learn several marketing strategies but either cannot afford coaching and consulting or want to experience me first before purchasing 1-on-1 programs or Masterminds.
- Write one short ebook per month that will be available for free (either on my website or Amazon) and write some others that will be available for sale on Amazon.
- Join the Leadership Roundtable that Tim Kerin at Learning Lessons in Business is creating so that CEO’s and Business Owners can learn from one another and create more success together.
- Develop relationships with event coordinators and planners and earning new opportunities to speak across the U.S. So, if you know of anyone looking for a dynamic speaker, please consider making an introduction! (Click here to learn more and see some videos on my speaker page)
- Joining and involving myself in the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce (voted the #1 chamber in America in 2013 by Presidents of chambers across the U.S. that make up the United States Chamber of Commerce).
So, what are your strategies and goals for 2015?
If you want to go somewhere, you have to know where you want to go. That’s one reason I love this season so much is it’s a time to pause, reflect, celebrate and look forward.
I want to take a moment and personally wish the following a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year’s! Without you in 2014, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today with the hopes of a brighter tomorrow:
I’m looking forward to an exciting 2015 with you as we work to make a difference for business owners, their families, employees, vendors and their customers!
What are your dreams, strategies and goals in 2015? Please share them below as I would love to hear how you plan to make a world class business through making a difference for others!
I’ll taking a break from blogging until January 5th. However, I will still be responding to comments and reading lots of other blogs over this time and engaging with you online.
Have a question, comment or something you want to share? Please leave a comment below in the comments sections.