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Tips For Good Follow-Up

You’ve heard that the fortune is in the follow-up. But, sometimes follow up gets a little… abandoned.

If you’re super busy and you’ve got 52 other things to do – you might not be thinking about following up with leads the way you should be. Well, we are here to help give you some advice that might help you out with your follow-ups. Here is our advice.

Auto Pilot

While we personally do not use a lot of “Auto Pilot” systems – it does work for other businesses and can be quite helpful. Such as an email autoresponder or even online sales funnels. For example – if you have an email list but you don’t feel like you can write emails every day – you can write several all at once or hire someone to write them for you – and schedule them to be sent out at a certain time and date.

The email autoresponder that I personally recommend is Aweber but you can also use Get Response or Mail Chimp.  whichever one works best for you. So, you can load all these emails into your autoresponder – then you won’t have to think about writing or sending them out. Of course, at some point – emails will need to be written. But, not as often.

Another thing that is useful is setting up automatic calls. No, not the telemarketing kind. There are services that let you buy a recorded message that you send out to your prospects – it goes straight to their voicemail rather than letting them pick up and talk to a robot. We do not recommend telemarketing!

Make a Plan

One of our best pieces of advice is – make a list of questions you could ask each client or “lead” here, let me give you an example – when we are working with a potential client – before we ever get on the phone with them or meet them we already know what questions we need to ask right off and what information we are going to need. Obviously, we tailor this to whoever it is we are talking to. This helps us when we are meeting to save time and get the info that will help everyone.

So, if your clientele is pretty much the same niche – you can write out a list of questions (like a reporter) and that way – you won’t have to rattle your brain every time to think of what you need to ask. This will also make sure you get the info you need to better serve your clients and customers.

 

 

This doesn’t seem like much right now – but trust me. It will help!

Calendars are Life

I know, it sounds outdated. But, if you insist you can use the one on your phone – if you have a smartphone. Make a list of people you need to follow-up with and on what days. But, keep this separate from your regular meetings and clients. Maybe write them under a different task or in a different color ink. This way you know who and when. If you have a team – this will help them also. Whoever is dealing with the follow-ups even if it is not you – leads needs to be organized well.

Set alerts and reminders also. Set them for the night or morning before so it’ll give you a heads up. If you’re busy it can be easy to lose track and forget to look at your calendar. And as soon as you finish the task – remove it to avoid confusion. Also, remember to block out a set amount of time for this lead. That way you get time to get to know their needs and also they have time to ask questions etc.

 

Well, that is all for today. Stay tuned for more helpful tips, articles, and posts like this one. If you have a topic suggestion or question – feel free to let us know! Also, remember you can follow us on Facebook andTwitter @KCMarketingCo Speak soon! 

Benefits of a Budget

How Much You Should Be Paying For a Website.

There is a lot of debate when it comes to the pricing of websites. We know! And being a business that designs websites – we have some experience with what people will expect to pay. Often people assume that you can chuck $400 at a designer and get a quality website. Let’s be honest here – that is not going to happen. If you give someone $400 for a website – they will most likely not even consider taking on the job. So, let’s break it down and think about this for a second. Here are some questions you need to ask yourself.

1: Do you want your website to be fully functional and actually serve you?

2: Is the designer credible?

3: What kind of bells and whistles are you expecting on your site?

Keep these questions in mind as we move forward.

Having a well functioning, beautiful, quality website has a huge impact on your ROI (Return On Investment) among other things. Who doesn’t want a good ROI? We all know (or should know) that websites are pretty important. So, let’s think about food for a second. Let’s say you wanted to go out for dinner and you were given two choices. You have a gas station that sells sushi on the right and then you have a high-quality restaurant on the left. If you choose the gas station and go in expecting super quality and a sleek presentation – be ready for disappointment. And a few acid reducers.

Or if I only spend $3 on a steak I can bet it won’t be as good as the one I paid $20 for. Websites, cars, and clothes, aren’t much different in that aspect. If you’re looking for an expert designer, good quality, content, and a good SEO score, you will have to pay more than $600. Beware of anyone who promises you the moon and stars for super low prices.

Does $15,000 sound like a lot? It actually isn’t. We understand that if it’s not in your bank – it’s just not. But, the overall price is not that high for something of such good quality. Let’s talk about how much money will get you where. Remember these are just ball-park numbers. Prices will vary slightly depending on where you go and what it is you need.

$500

This seems like a lot to many people. But, in terms of a website – you’re not going to get super quality for this. You might get something that looks like a 5-year-old put it together if that’s what you’re going for. If you really want a website and you really want it to work well for your business – this is not the amount you want to be spending. Just, run away…

$1000 – $2,500

Okay, this is better… But, it won’t get you things like Content, Internet Marketing, and your ROI won’t be much at all. So, the website might look better than a $500 dollar one – but it still isn’t the BEST you could do. A lot of designers won’t even take $1000.

$2,500 and Up 

This might seem like a lot of money to pay for a website. But, if you’re running a real business and you want quality, good features, a good ROI, among other professional bells and whistles – this is around the price range you can expect. Obviously, some will charge less and some will charge more. It depends on the designer.

Other thoughts

As with the other numbers used in this article – they can all vary from designer to designer. These are meant to guide you in the right direction. You want to make sure you aren’t getting ripped off – but you also want to make sure you are getting good quality. Remember the restaurant example we gave you? Think about that. If you order gas station sushi you have a greater chance of getting food poisoning than if you get it from a real restaurant. If you are thinking about paying for a website – don’t go with the cheapest option available. You will end up with a gas station sushi product. But, if you pay for a reputable, high-quality website – then you will get real restaurant quality.

As always – we hope that this helps you and if there is any way we can help you please feel free to drop us a line. We are always around to help in any way we can. We hope you have a great week ahead and we will speak soon.

Tips For Hosting Live Events.

When you think of live events – what comes to mind? Most people think a live event needs to be some huge deal that costs thousands of dollars and more entertainment than needed. Calm down – it does not need to be the equivalent of a Metalica concert. You don’t always need to rent space either depending on if you have a storefront or not and the size and location of it. We are going to give you some tips to make your first live events go smoother and hopefully decrease stress.

Location

This subject could be talked about for days. This will be the first step. If you have a storefront big enough for a gathering – GREAT you can just skim this section. But, if you don’t have a storefront of maybe you just don’t want to host your event there – keep reading. So, let me give you an example that might help you out in this situation. Some friends of mine who worked at a local college and they wanted to throw a party for Christmas but they didn’t have the space to do it  – so they needed to rent a place for a night. So, they called around and found a park that would let them host the “party” there. In some areas, there are places that are only for events. You can even use your local community center. Of course landing a location will depend on the type of event you are hosting.

If you are hosting a business event – then you most likely should not rent out someone’s home basement. If you’re hosting an event about knitting – don’t host it at a water park. You get the idea…

Advertisement

This is one of the absolute most important parts there is with any business – but especially for live events. If you don’t advertise you won’t get anyone to your event. There are lots of ways you can advertise these events. But you never want to choose just one method alone. So, here are some suggestions to help you.

Start advertising way ahead of time. Never wait until the week of the event. Go for two to three weeks ahead of time. This gives everyone plenty of time to clear their schedule and to really have it in their minds. Often, when you wait until last second to start telling people – you won’t get nearly as many guests as you would like. But, how often are you walking down the street – see a flyer for an event for the next day and decide to go? Not likely.

There are lots of different methods and routes you can take. Depending on how much time you have and your preferred style. If you really want to ramp things up you can always hire a marketing firm to handle it all for you. But, here are our suggestions on some methods to use.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Non-traditional methods like signs and flyers

Of course, using social media will only work if you actually have an updated and functioning platform set up. And if you actually make sure your clients/customers know you exist on social media. It won’t do any good if you’ve never used it before.

Anyway, you should post at least twice a day almost every day. So, if you’re advertising an event and trying to get a better turn out – consistency is very important. If you don’t have time to manage your social media – get someone else to handle it for you. All the mentioned social media platforms require consistency.

For more offline advertising methods like word of mouth and hanging flyers – there is only so much you can do of that. If you do choose to use this method in conjunction with the others mentioned – make sure you have a good design made for you. And make sure you are hanging your flyers/posters where they will be seen – not just where they fit.

Social media posting

Off the subject of how much to post – moving on to what to post. You’re going to want to create a graphic of some kind. It needs to grab attention and make your business look good as usual – but it also needs to have information about the event. I’m sure you have seen lots of posters like this before. This is almost the same but online and not just on flyers. If you have a designer just talk to them about the kind of event you will be hosting and give him the information on the event and they should be able to come up with something fitting – if you don’t have a designer and plan on doing this yourself – we recommend using photoshop or some form of it. This is especially important for Instagram and Facebook.

Remember to make sure your audience is targeted. You can runs ads or just post on your timeline – but either way, you want – the posts need to be targeted. You need to be specific. One mistake a lot of people make is they are very vague in the description. If you just say “Hey, we are hosting an event next Friday. Come” that will not be enough… At all.

Conclusion

When planning an event – remember that location and advertising are key. Your first event might be a little stressful and a little crazy. But, remember to just take it one step at a time and the more you do it – the easier it will be. If one event doesn’t go as planned – just try something else next time.

If you need a hand with setting up the advertising campaign for your event or any other help we can give – drop us a line!

3 Simple Ways to Find a Solo Ad Provider

If you’ve ever tried solo ads before – I bet you were wondering how you could tell if the provider was credible. Maybe you didn’t have much luck. Or maybe you haven’t tried solo ads yet because of fear of failure. Whatever the reason – we’re going to help you find a credible solo ad provider. There are some steps you can take to help make sure you don’t end up robbed or cheated.

Reviews/Testimonials

This is VERY important when working with any business. But, especially solo ad providers. Make sure their website or social media pages have testimonials and reviews. Read over them and see how others experience was. While this is helpful – you need to make sure these reviews are real. Anyone can buy fake reviews. So, in this case, do a web search for the provider you are considering working with. You should see some more reliable reviews on Google or Yahoo.

Another thing a lot of people like to do including me – is to get on a Skype call with the provider. This just helps you get a better feel for them and who they are. If they don’t want to get on a call with you – don’t work with them.  If you don’t have skype it’s easy to get. Just set up an account at  Skype.com

Ask Others

If you still feel unsure about trying solo ads – reach out to people you know who may have bought them in the past. You can also come to our Facebook Group and ask for advice. You might even get a good recommendation on who to go to for solo ads.

Test First

You can buy a test amount of clicks from most solo ad providers. This will really help you know if they are a good choice. Buy a minimum amount of clicks. Chances are they have a tester package. Usually around one hundred or 200 clicks.  If you’re hitting the right audience and your email copy is good – you should see a percentage of opt-ins.

When you do this – something I like to do is go to Google and search for a free IP address lookup tool. And see where my leads ar coming from. Ideally, if you are targeting English-speaking prospects you would want your leads coming from places like U.S., Canada, Australia, or the UK. These are what we call tier 1 countries. So, if a provider says their traffic is tier 1 – then you can make sure by where the leads are from.

If you are using the autoresponder Aweber- you can also check where your subscribers are from by going into the Reports panel and then scrolling down to “countries” on the left of the page. If you don’t have an Aweber account you can get one here

Ability to Convert

The first time you buy solo ads you might not get a whole lot of conversions. It depends on the amount you buy, your sales copy, your offer, and the provider. Most will blame the provider for poor results. More often than not – the problem is with the follow-up process, and the offer you are promoting. If you’re driving traffic to your own sales page – the problem could be weak sales copy.

Remember

If you are new to internet marketing or marketing your business in general. Don’t blame the provider too quickly. Make sure to look over your sales copy and capture pages first. And also take a good look at your follow-up process.

If you’d like help – we are here for you. Please feel free to get in contact with us anytime.

Please make sure to visit our website as well at

How to Manage Stress in Business

Some of us have a very high-stress level. Home life situations, work, money, relationships, etc. The list goes on. As a business owner – when you start to have a lot of high-stress and tension in your life – whether it’s business related or not – it’s important to know how to handle it so that you can still take care of your business. Of course, this will depend on the situation… But, here is my advice from drawing on personal experience and learning from mentors.
My stress “habits” or things I tend to do when I am under large amounts of pressure or stress might differ from yours. Some people sleep, some eat, others bury themselves in their work. It’s important to relieve stress and take care of yourself and the situation. But, remember if these habits are taking up too much of your time – you aren’t going to be spending as much needed time on your business.
Here is what helps me out…
Planning ahead
Planning ahead is half the battle. If you don’t map out your days then you will end up scrambling to figure out what needs to be done – like you need one more thing to actually figure out?! So, plan your days. Figure out when you can work on your business. And what you need to be working on. Set aside time when you can. For example – it’s 12:11am right now. This is the time I carved out. A really useful tool I like to use for keeping on track and organized is Evernote.com 
Focus on the important tasks
It’s important to not waste time on things like simply checking emails for 45 minutes, looking at your blog, scrolling through your Facebook notifications, etc. Make sure that during this focused block of time you are only working on things that are important. Checking emails is important – yes. But, save this time for immediate and important work.
Ask For Help 
Not all of us are big fans of asking for help. I’m not. But, when you really need it and you need to free up space on your plate – ask. If you are a one person show – then hire someone like us If you have business partners or staff – ask them. You should always talk to your team if you have one. And if not – we will be your team.
If you’d like more tips – please feel free to send us an email. We hope this was helpful.

The Fear Of Growth And Why It’s a Lie

When people think of growth in the business world – often they think of big corporate companies with large egos. But, growth doesn’t always mean expanding in size alone. Growth comes in many other forms. We have told you about our recent adventures with small businesses and one thing we noticed was that a lot of the business owners seemed to have this “fear” of growth. So, let me give you the same advice I gave these business owners – and let’s see if it still makes you think of big corporate companies with large egos.

Always Learn

This is a big one. No matter who you are, what you do, what you sell or provide, or how old you are – you should always be learning. Whether you learn how to better manage your social media to get more engagement, how to sell, how to run a proper coffee shop, etc. Learning is one of the single biggest things you should be doing. Buy a book, attend live events, attend webinars, hire a coach/mentor and pay them to teach you, buy an educational product. Invest in your own knowledge.

Don’t get caught up in learning so much that you forget to actually implement what you’re learning – but you should invest in your education more often. If you get coaching/consulting with us then we will work with you one on one for as long as you want.

Events

Hosting your own event is a really fun and great way to get yourself out there. Events are often overlooked by business owners because they simply do not want to take the time to set anything up or they think it will cost an insane amount of money. Well, that is not always true. Here is an example for you… Let’s say you have a tattoo shop. You decide that on Friday and Saturday you are going to offer $20 tattoos and sell some $2 cake or hot dogs. You will be surprised at what people will do when you throw in food and a discount. Turn on some music and once people realize there is a deal going on (especially if you have food or drinks) people will be interested. I recently suggested a 20s themed party to a vintage themed coffee bar. I think that would be really neat and it fits their personality! This works for all kinds of businesses. Not just traditional businesses with a physical location.

Let’s say you have an online business. Have you ever been to a Mary Kay party? They are all over the place. I know because my friend threw one. But, they get a bunch of people together and they start showing off their products. If you have an online business – you could host a MeetUp and get some connections. Just make it fun, friendly, and fitting to you.

Street Noise

I recently wrote an article on flyers and how to use them to your advantage. But, let’s go over something a little different but in some ways the same. This ideally works if you have an actual location – but let’s see how many of you want to give it a try to promote nonphysical businesses as well. You’ve seen people walking around with banners, signs, and posters right? Well, those grab attention very well. Everyone wants to know what you are up to. If you decide to give live events a try – this would be a great way to promote them. Don’t just hang up a banner outside – grab a sign and walk around town if you can. Stand outside and hold the sign, round up some friends or hire someone to come help.

(If you need Kansas City Marketing Company’s help with design we would be thrilled to help out)

Videos

This one is defiantly not used much. This works for any business. Make videos. Talk about your business, updates, news, you, your staff, your business partners, goals, the reason you do what you do. Just talk to people. People love to know all about you. People want to be a part of something and in the “loop”. This goes along perfectly with social media management.

They don’t have to be super long, super edited, or anything special. Just take a video on your phone, tablet, laptop, whatever it is you have – and upload it to your social media platforms. This will really help with credibility and engagement.

That’s a wrap for this article. I hope you have found it helpful and I hope you will give these things a shot in your business. If you ever need us – we’re here! Thanks for following and we’ll speak soon!

Choosing the Right Legal Structure for Your Business

When starting a business, one of the first things you need to think about is legal structure. So, there are several options and we are going to help you decide which is best for you. Usually, I recommend that you first start out as a limited liability company (LLC). Later you can plan to convert to a C corporation. But, before I get into all that – I want to talk to you about your options.

Sole-Proprietorship.

My mother’s business when I was a kid was a sole proprietorship. Most would agree that this is the easiest type of business to organize. All you really need to do is apply for the required licenses. A lot of people choose this because of tax reasons. For tax reporting just  report the company’s income and expenses on a form that you will attach to your annual tax return. That’s it! But, from personal experience, I can tell you it isn’t 100% the best choice for everyone.  The bad news is – as a sole proprietor you are 100%  liable for all the company’s debts. This could be anything from vendors, taxes, payroll, and  loans.

So, you really aren’t better off going this route for long. To start out with – sure. But it’s not a good place to live. We recommend choosing one of these other options for the long term.

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Corporation

Everyone knows this one. A corporation is a company or group of people authorized to act as a single entity (legally a person) and recognized as such in law. What this has on a sole-proprietorship is that a corporation can provide protection to a founder against the liabilities of the company. For example, bank accounts, personal expenses, etc. But you have to also think about this – there are two kinds of corps.

The first one is – a Subchapter S (S Corporation) is a form of corporation that meets specific Internal Revenue Code requirements, giving a corporation with 100 shareholders or less the benefit of incorporation while being taxed as a partnership. An S corporation will not pay any federal corporate-level income taxes. The profits and losses of the corporation will be reported on the individual tax returns of the shareholders. You can only have 99 shareholders with an S Corp. And you cannot have limited partnerships and only one class of stock for economic allocations.

Next is a C corporation. A C corporation, under the United States federal income tax law, refers to any corporation that is taxed separately from its owners. A C corporation is distinguished from an S corporation, which generally is not taxed separately. It doesn’t have quite as many restrictions as an S Corp. Unlike with the S Corp – you are not limited to the number of shareholders you have. And you can have any number of classes of stock. But, choosing this option may result in double taxation of a corporation’s profits.

Limited Liability Company (LLC) 

This is another one you might be familiar with. An LLC is a corporate structure whereby the members of the company cannot be held personally liable for the company’s debts or liabilities. (Great right?) Limited liability companies are pretty much  hybrid entities that combine the characteristics of a corporation and a partnership or sole proprietorship. It is taxed like a partnership but provides the limited liability protection of a corporation, while still avoiding double taxation. This works well for those who will not seek venture capital or other substantial outside financing, however – if you do plan on seeking venture capital outside funding might want to go with C-Corp.

If you have to – start off as an LLC – and if it isn’t right for you  I recommend changing over to one of the corporates I mentioned above as soon as you can. Do some consulting – talk to other business owners, an attorney, and/or your accountant about all of this. They can help you figure out which will fit you best.

As always we thank you for stopping by and we hope you will be back soon! If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for future topics – feel free to drop us a line! You can check us out on Facebook