Hands up who loves numbers? I’m a reformed number aversionist. Spending money was one of my favourite past times. I was known as a shopaholic. I would avoid knowing how much I had spent and live from payday to payday.
The day I realised this had to stop was when my Uncle passed away only months after his retirement. He had worked his entire life only to not be able to enjoy retirement.
Discipline equals freedom
I dug a financial hole for myself that I needed to get out of. Inspired by a radio interview of Scott Pape, author of ‘The Barefoot Investor’ I bought his book and started to change my financial habits.
Still to this day, one of the best things I have applied from reading The Barefoot Investor is to start asking questions of those who I work with. The biggest shift for me was asking my Accountant questions. I kept asking questions until I understood them. The good news is my Accountant was open to this and let me keep on asking.
Now I encourage this principle with everyone of my clients too, start with asking their Accountants questions and then apply this to all other professional services they engage with (including me!).
No professional should be afraid of being questioned with a healthy respect and debate. Informed decision making is a critical part of business success.
What I had to come to the realisation of was, all advisors I have, personally and professionally can provide advice, but I am the one who is responsible for my situation, not them.
It is my responsibility to provide advisors with all information so they can make the best recommendation. Then, based on my circumstances it is still up to me (not them) to make the decision on what is best for me.
One of the questions I ask every single potential client I have is:
‘What is your ideal result you would like by working with Serena Dot Ryan?’
78% of responses say ‘Sales.’
This week I received a new response ‘SALES.’ Like the over capitalisation will automatically increase sales.
Here is the problem with only stating ‘sales’ or ‘SALES.’ If the size of the sales wanted is not specified and the circumstances you currently have are not considered, there is no effective way to assess if the ‘sales’ are achievable.
Without sales numbers (forecast and actual) and then a subsequent assessment of circumstances to fulfil the forecast, there is a missed opportunity to define success.
It’s like turning up to the garden nursery and I say to the horticulturist, ‘I want a vegetable garden.’ Now unless I inform them, we currently have water restrictions; where the sunlight hits the garden at what time of day; what our likelihood of rain is where we live; if I’m willing and able to water the garden; what shade there is, how much I want to grow and how much money I want to spend… there is no way of the horticulturist assessing what should be planted, where in the yard it should be planted and what my commitment to maintaining the garden is to increase its likelihood of success.
The same can also be said for building a house. If you’re expecting to build a house, you need to define budget, your expectations and capacity to repay a loan (if applicable) before the size of the home, structure and quality of furnishings can be defined.
Circumstances need to be assessed in order to give the best advice.
The view of success needs to be more clearly defined to start with. It is worth the time and effort for everyone considering engaging the services of a digital marketer to assess their own business and what they want to achieve.
What does success look like? Ask yourself what do you want your business to achieve? How much annual revenue do you want? Is this an increase on the previous year? Do you have the capacity to have more clients? How many more clients do you need to achieve the revenue target that you have set?
The more you can be clear on this and define what the business goals are in terms of sales, then it gives a starting point to look for opportunities for Facebook Ads and other Social Media channels to assist you to achieve your business goals.
Sales are the end result of interacting with an audience who need what you are selling.
Thanks to the proliferation of Communication driven through Social Media, people will interact with your business (and those that represent it) an average of 12 – 15 times before they become a customer.
So we look to build relationships using technology as a part of the mix. It’s about using Social Media and other Digital Marketing tools to build relationships rather than selling immediately. Our ultimate goal is when we are ready to sell, we are only suggesting our product or service to our ideal audience rather than trying to sell to everyone from the get go.
Someone who sees your product or service offering is much more likely to purchase if they know you.
There are 3 stages of relationship building, awareness, engagement and conversion (AEC).
When goals are broken down into the 3 stages of AEC it increases the focus of success and conversion, rather than only having one goal that is difficult to differentiate from anyone else also vying for the same.
Building awareness is not a selling phase. It is the stage at which others get to know who you are. A great starting point is to create a WHY video.
A why video should be between 1 – 3 minutes detailing a significant moment in your life that has driven you to do what you do today. It will demonstrate your values and what you stand for.
Give something of value, demonstrating how valuable you or your product or service is or give them something that they can learn.
This is where you show your offer.
By the time someone has become aware of you, your business and engaged with you then there is an increased likelihood of purchase.
By having a goal for each phase of AEC and building relationships I was able to have a 985% return on investment (ROI) in my first year of applying this logic.