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Small Marketing Teams

Most marketing advice is pulled from big companies. How many times have you read a business book with advice on how Apple or Google did it? Those growth strategies just don’t apply to smaller businesses. The Small Marketing Teams podcast is full of specialized advice for the people responsible for growing small and mid-sized companies. For the past 10 years, I've researched, tested, and seen success with the marketing and sales approaches that I will teach you so that you can achieve remarkable results without a huge budget and team.
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Now displaying: April, 2019
Apr 29, 2019

How many concerts did you attend last year? 1 concert? 2 concerts? Every other weekend?

For most performers, a concert is a one-time event. They move from city to city scooping up revenue from each performance’s ticket and merchandise sales.

I want to share a story about how one savvy superstar rejected that model so she could spend more time on other priorities.

This story comes with a very important lesson for marketers.

My wife and daughter recently watched Beyoncé’s new concert film, Homecoming. It is her live headline performances at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival last year and the story behind it.

The visually-impressive film caught my attention as I made dinner and afterwards, I sat down the join then. By that time, I was hooked since I had been watching from a distance.

Apparently, the release of this film on Netflix coincided with her new live album featuring these performances.

Beyoncé had not released a new album in several years.

Since her last album, she had a very difficult pregnancy and gave birth to twins.

Beyoncé’s big comeback was this Coachella performance in 2018.

Beyoncé’s Powerful Lesson For Small Marketing Team

Leading up to the music festival, Beyoncé and her team had a choice.

Option #1) They could work really hard to put together this performance for Coachella.

OR

Option #2) They could work slightly harder and accomplish:

  1. The headlining Coachella performance.
  2. A new live album that will sell hundreds of thousands of copies.
  3. An impactful concert film documentary that is packaged as a cultural moment and will keep Beyoncé on top of the relevancy ladder for the next year.

They chose to work harder and so they could get more from the effort they were putting into preparing for the Coachella event.

In marketing and sales, I call this approach to prioritizing inputs and outputs a “Mileage Mindset” and it is a key to growing your business with a small marketing team.

To understand if you have a “mileage mindset,” let me ask you a question.

How many times have you done the hard thinking and writing around creating a whitepaper or webinar then left it in that singular format when the campaign was over?

Have you ever prepared for a presentation at a conference or industry event and then never re-purposed that into a webinar, ebook, or video series?

Beyoncé prepared 4-5 months for Coachella. She put in the brutal effort of preparing for a mega-concert once, but leveraged that work in other assets that would continue to pay off.

You may be thinking to yourself, “I’m really stretched thin. I don’t have time to plan out or repurpose my content to make the most of my investment.”

Beyoncé had a similar problem. She has twin infants. She had a 6-year-old daughter. She had an extremely busy megastar husband. She was getting pulled in all directions at once.

How did view the hill she needed to climb? Beyoncé knew this was not going to be easy, but she chose to push hard and put in the extra time upfront, so that her investment would pay dividends for the next 1-2 years without her needing to be in the spotlight all the time.

You see? Content repurposing is not a time suck. It is a marketing strategy for getting hours back in your day.

I think Beyoncé is great, but I’m not an avid fan. However, watching this concert film made me realize the brilliant marketing move that Beyoncé employs to do more using less of her time.

Just like you, Beyoncé’s time and attention are needed elsewhere.

Her lesson for content marketers, especially those with small marketing teams, is one that every growth-oriented company needs to take seriously.

This is a lesson in leveraging your time.

When it comes to marketing, all of the hours you put into your work are not equal.

Beyoncé shows us that one hour of work does not need to produce one unit of your desired outcome.

How To Copy Beyoncé's Content Repurposing Playbook

If she had thought of Coachella as a one-time concert, she would have generated 7-21 days of buzz and revenue from that one performance.

Instead, Beyoncé has a “mileage mindset.”

How about you?

If you work for a week to create a new content marketing campaign, it could generate leads for a week or two when you launch the campaign.

Here is how “Marketing Professor Beyoncé” would look at this.

She’ll say, “I’ll work hard for a week and a half, so I can generate leads for a year.”

When you create a marketing asset, you have done the hard thinking.

You have researched and developed your ideas.

You have organized them into production-ready content - whether it is a lead magnet (like a report, ebooks, white paper), a blog post, a video, a webinar, a presentation, a podcast, or many other content formats.

You may not know it, but you have done the hard and the most time-consuming part.

Beyoncé’s lesson is about putting in a little extra work to get the most from that investment.

The beauty of this model is that you are now working with leveraged hours.

To create a video series from that ebook, you don’t need to put in the same amount or type of hours that you did to plan and create the ebook.

The thinking is done. The content is done.

Now, channel your inner Beyoncé to take that thought leadership and turn in into multiple potent content assets.

First, you need to understand that Beyoncé did not mix the live album or edit the Homecoming concert film or even upload the finished product to Netflix.

She just did the part that only Beyoncé could do upfront.

So, I recommend outsourcing (or offloading to someone on your team) a large portion of the content repurposing. This part of the “mileage mindset” allows you to work on other strategic initiatives or get started on the next content campaign.

Let’s take this further so you can start putting this into action today.

Here are your steps to develop a “mileage mindset” to turn your content marketing strategy into an engine that will generate traffic, leads, and sales for years to come.

Step #1) Evaluate Your Current Marketing And Sales Assets.

Some of them might be out of date or less relevant to your target audience. However, if it is still accurate and important to your audience, put it in the pile of assets to turn into additional formats.

Step #2) Bring A “Mileage Mindset” Into Your Next Marketing Campaign.

Go into your next content campaign with a plan to turn the upfront thinking, planning, and content creation into as many formats as you can over the next few months (along with the corresponding mini-campaign launches).

Step #3) Pick The Right Formats.

Identify the content formats that make sense for your content and market. If you created an executive report for the buyers in your market, know that turning that content into blog posts or an infographic will serve a different purpose and drive different outcomes than using that information in a webinar, in-person lunch and learn, or presentation at an industry conference.

Step #4) Prepare Your Content Distribution Strategy.

Content creation is only half your growth equation. Just like you did with the original content asset, you will need to get each new asset that you create in front of buyers. Common content distribution channels include emailing your list, digital ads, and partner communication.

Step #5) Analyze And Adjust.

This may feel like a lot of work, but as a leader in your business, you need to set the expectations that content is not fully published until it has been repurposed into 4-5 additional formats.

Small Marketing Team Takeaway

Everything from doing more with less to getting hours back to work on other priorities while leads are automatically generated starts with your “mileage mindset”.

Then, be clear about the content repurposing process and each person's role in the system.

Soon, just like Beyoncé, you’ll be able to squeeze every drop of marketing power from everything you do.

Apr 10, 2019

If you are under pressure to increase revenue, it can be an awful feeling.

Everything becomes very urgent and chaotic.

You are motivated, but if you don’t get tangible results in short order, your mindset and ability to take action can start to spiral.

Have you been in this position? Are you there now?

Do you feel like you have tried everything to increase sales, but you are only seeing slight growth?

Maybe you are banging your head against the wall because, even when you work your butt off to fix it, you keep ending up in the same place.

Today, I want to share a basic math equation that has a direct impact on your sales growth.

The problem is that is most sales managers ignore it.

They contort their team into messaging acrobats and implement complex sales training and technology before solving this fundamental element of lead management.

I don’t know for sure why people overlook this secret to unlocking revenue growth.

Maybe it is so simple that you assume you have already gotten the formula right.

Maybe getting it right is harder than you thought.

It goes like this…

If your sales reps can sell X every hour they spend selling, they can sell 2X if they spend two hours selling.

I know….mind blown.

  • You thought the issue was your product.
  • You thought the problem was bad leads coming from marketing.
  • You thought your sales team needed more sales training.

When, in fact, this is 100% on you.

You are giving your sales team a clunky process and inefficient toolset, so reps are only spending 2-3 hours a day selling.

You are not alone. Most reputable research indicates that sales reps only spend 30% of their time on sales activities and the rest of their time is spent on sales admin and CRM tasks.

When was the last time you audited your sales reps’ days?

If they are getting your current results selling 3 hours per day, what would your revenue look like if they spent 4 or 5 hours per day on selling activities?

But, it is not as easy as cracking the whip to get them to spend more time selling.

Lack of efficiency in your sales process is caused by an imbalance in what I call the “Sales Efficiency Formula.”

>>> Easy Processes + Time-Saving Tools + Clear Data <<<

Combining the three components of this formula gets to the heart of how your sales team works their leads - from how leads are routed, how outreach and follow-ups are tracked, and which leads get converted to opportunities.

It also makes it easier to coach your sales reps and identify friction in your sales process sooner.

Giving your sellers a lead management process built on this formula might feel like a big undertaking at first.

However, it is the deep planning you do upfront that will deliver a simple and efficient process to your sales reps – that will serve them and your company’s growth goal for 5-10 years.

Choosing to do the hard thing gives you MORE control over your results and MORE levers to work with to get results in the future, than any of your other options.

In fact, your old instincts to change up your product or messaging OR fire your sales or marketing team will begin to feel like “hope and pray” strategies.

When you have a solid lead management foundation - built into your CRM and that your sales reps use and love – you’ll have a tremendous amount of confidence that the leads you are investing so much in to generate will turn into closed sales.

Want to get my secret sauce for turning your sales team into a hyper-efficient sales machine?

I recently led a masterclass on my method for turning more leads into paying customer (without firing your sales team and turning your company upside down).

I’m making this training available to people in my network for a short period of time.

If you want sign-up for the next web class, visit https://hssalessuccess.com/

Apr 1, 2019

Sit still. Did you feel that?

That is the traditional SEO ground shifting beneath your feet.

The way that your company gets ranked on the first page of Google or Bing has significantly changed in the past 2-4 years.

Are you seeing it?

I started to notice it about a year before I sold my company in 2017. We had relied on creating the best, most useful content in our industry to get found and generate leads (mainly via organic search traffic).

I saw firsthand how tactics and pillar SEO practices that worked a few years ago are no longer as effective.

  • Companies with larger budgets were dumping content into the market.
  • It took longer for our blog posts to get ranked.
  • Search, as a percentage of our traffic, plateaued.

In this episode, I’m going to reveal how small marketing teams can compete in this new SEO world.

SEO Is Not A One-Size-Fits-All Game

The first thing you need to know is that SEO is different in different markets.

Your market exists on a spectrum.

On one end, you have low-density markets where there is little digital content being published.

On the other end, you have very crowded markets, like marketing, where thousands of new content assets, like blog posts, infographics, videos, and podcasts, are being published daily.

What Matters Most To Increase Search Engine Rankings

Let’s be clear about one thing. Regardless of where your business falls on this spectrum, you still need to produce the best, most compelling and helpful content in your market.

Next, identify where your industry falls on the spectrum. Are you in a crowded market or are few companies taking advantage of digital channels (this is very rare these days)?

If you are in a less dense market, you can still focus on the technical on-page aspects of SEO to get ranked. Marketers love this because it is very much within their control.

As you move across the spectrum, things get a little more complicated.

The technical side of SEO still matters, but it alone won’t get you on the first few SERPs (search engine results pages).

So, what is the major driver in SEO for crowded markets?

The answer is your relationships and reputation.

You need to get people to link to your articles from their blog posts and other digital publications. Getting people to link to your resource involves:

  • Nurturing Relationships
  • Outreach
  • Persuasion
  • Persistence
  • Rejection

In my experience, most marketers hate this part. They like pulling the levers behind the scenes to drive traffic and bring in leads.

This key SEO skill resembles more of a sales role and that is not what most digital marketers signed up for.

How To Get Ranked In Search Engines In a Crowded Market

Since you are most likely in an increasingly competitive market, I want to share three simple tips for improving your search engine ranking.

Warning: While three steps sound simple, following the advice below actually takes a lot of time, skills, and effort. You are not going to get it right the first few times you work this system.

Three SEO Tips For Boosting Your Search Engine Ranking in a Crowded Market

Step 1) Create better, more comprehensive and helpful content than everyone else out there. This involves research into what is ranking today and what is being shared.

Step 2) Leverage your relationships, reputation, and quality of your content to get people to share and link to your blog.

Step 3) Take care of the basics, like your on-page SEO.

Like most digital marketing tactics, search engine marketing is changing. 

One of my favorite ways for small marketing teams to leapfrog their competition is to recognize these shifts sooner and make adjustments to capture more traffic, leads, and market share.

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