Finding New Customers through Online Investments and Social Media Marketing

Women Business Owners Challenged to Find New Customers

The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) recently posted the results of their State of Women-Owned Businesses Survey.

Results indicated that women business owners found that gaining new clients was one of their biggest challenges and they were considering what marketing tactics would have the greatest impact.  Here’s what they found:

When asked what they see as their biggest challenge to running their business, nearly two in five (39 percent) of Women Business Owners said that it was gaining new customers. To gain customers, nearly three quarters (73 percent) of WBOs plan to invest more in marketing. Specifically, they will invest in social media marketing (36 percent) and search engine optimization (SEO) (36 percent). This is not surprising, as nearly half (44 percent) predict that social media and SEO are the future of small business marketing. Conversely, WBOs anticipated that traditional outreach approaches, including print and direct mail (1.6 percent), online advertising (4.4 percent) and email marketing (6.2 percent), will have less impact on small business marketing in the future.

When considering what marketing tactics currently have the greatest impact on a business’ bottom line, more than half (52 percent) of respondents indicated that website design and maintenance was very important, followed by social media marketing and SEO (38 percent) and email marketing (25 percent). And WBOs indicated that LinkedIn (27 percent) is the most valuable social media platform to them, followed by Facebook (26 percent), YouTube (18 percent) and Twitter (17 percent).

“Women business owners are laser focused on reaching new customers, and their strategy for doing so is focused on improving their businesses’ online presence,” said Web.com executive vice president and chief people officer, Roseann Duran. “This is great news for time-strapped consumers, as they can expect to have an improved and more socially engaged online experience with many of their favorite businesses.”

I disagree that email marketing will have less impact, I believe that using it as a tool to drive traffic back to your website and social presence is the best way to continue to drip on clients and prospects and increase SEO.

These are the challenges we help our clients manage.  If you’re struggling to organize and implement your online presence and social media marketing, or you know it’s not the best use of your time, please contact us for a complimentary consultation to see if we can help you gain new clients by focusing on your Internet marketing and social media.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

4 Crucial Things You Need To Do To Build your List

Online marketing has caused a sudden surge in successful marketing these past few years, but many in the know have felt its rise for much longer.  As more internet-based businesses are popping up, the need to develop new marketing skills and knowledge based on this new medium have risen significantly. More and more marketing strategies are being discovered and developed to cope with the changing face of business and the business world.

The demand for online marketing tips and strategies have drastically grown and a new opportunity for this type of business has been born. While there are companies that are all too eager to help your site and business build a clientele for a fee, there also many ways that you can spread the word about your site’s subsistence in a more low to no cost way. One of these options is Opt-in email marketing, also known as permission marketing.

Opt-in marketing requires the permission of a willing customer to subscribe to your marketing materials, materials that can take the form of newsletters, catalogs and promotional mailings via e-mail. The more opt-in marketing mail you send, the more chances there are to capture more sales. To do this, you must build a list of targeted prospects who want to subscribe to your opt-in marketing list.

Since they have already shown interest in what you have to offer and sell, you will grow a great list of targeted customers. These are the people who have liked what they have seen on your site and have decided they want to see more and maybe even purchase a product or service your company has to offer.

Many people would think that building their lists would take hard work and a lot of time to build and collect names and addresses. This is not the case; it takes a bit of patience and some good strategies, but in creating the list, you open your site and your business to a whole new world of qualified prospects. These efforts can take your business to the next level, as it will increase your site traffic and provide opportunities to grow your sales and profits.  An opt-in list can do wonders for your business.

There are many sources on the Internet that suggest lots of ways to build a list. Sometimes they may be confusing because there are so many different ways. Different groups of people with different types of products and services would have different approaches in building an opt-in list, but no matter how diverse their methods are, there are always some crucial things to do to build your list. Here are four of them.

1) Put up an easy and visible web form on your site’s pages, especially the home page, that immediately grabs their attention. While some may say this is too soon to request a website visitor’s information, but try to remember that your home page should provide a quick and lasting impression. You only have a few seconds to grab their attention and get them to sign-up.

A good web form for subscribing to an opt-in list is not hard to do. Just write a simple short statement about what information and updates they will see through your site. Then there should be an area where they could put in their name and e-mail address. This web form will automatically save and send you a notification of the data they input. There are many online options to maintaining your opt-in database like Constant Contact, MailChimp or aWeber. As more people sign up, your list will be growing.

2) As mentioned in the first tip, make your home page very, very impressive. You need to have well written articles and content on your site. Depending on what your site is all about, you need to capture your website visitor’s attention right away. Make your site useful and very easy to use. Do not expect everyone to be tech savvy. Invest in having good programming on your site, make your graphics beautiful but don’t overdo it.

Don’t waste your time making the home page too large, megabyte wise. Not all people have dedicated IT connections, the faster your site gets loaded, the better. Go for a look that borders between simplicity and sophisticated knowledge.

3) Provide excellent service and products. A return customer is more likely to bring in more business. Every now and then a satisfied customer will recommend your business to their friends and family. Word of mouth and referrals alone can rake in more business than an expensive ad.  As your client list grows so will your business. With more people on your list, the more people who will get to know about what you have to offer.

4) Keep a clean and private list. Never lose the trust your customers have entrusted in you. If you provide e-mails to others and they get spammed, many will probably unsubscribe from your list. Remember, a good reputation will drive in more traffic and subscribers as well as strengthen the loyalty of your customers.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Ten Tips to Increase Website Traffic Without Any Expense

While I realize I am a Web Development DIY (Do-it-Yourselfer), there are several things I do regularly to help increase my rankings at the major search engines.  SEO, or search engine optimization is a key component to attracting your ideal client to your website, blog, or social media presence.

Since blogs are ‘open source’ they are looked upon more favorably by the search engines, and are much easier to update regularly than a static website.  Make sure to regularly post to your blog and encourage replies to help increase activity that will bring your site attention online. 

Inbound links are also important and help you rank higher in the search engines – so make sure to use lots of links on all your social media, blogs, and websites.

Here are 10 simple ways to improve your search engine rankings with little to no expense (depending on whether or not you’re a DIY or have website support and maintenance done by a Virtual Assistant (VA), or in-house staffer/IT Support.).  I hope you find them helpful.

  1. Schedule regular updates/changes of information on your main website pages.  This activity spiders out to search engines to let them know something’s happening at your site.
  2. Add resources and links to other sites, even affiliate sites where you can make a second income stream would be helpful.  It also brings attention to your site.
  3. Update or add keywords and meta tags.  Search your niche and see what pops up, ask your clients what words they might use in a search engine if they were looking for you.  They may come up with words you hadn’t even thought of.
  4. Add features such as a newsletter subscribe or survey questions.  Rotating survey questions is a great way to bring visitors back again and again.
  5. Use your website in your marketing pieces.  Write articles that would be of interest to your clients and include the URL on the print or electronic marketing piece to drive more traffic to your site.
  6. Create private areas of your website where clients can login and retrieve projects or files.
  7. Add a blog, or connect to your site from your blog, to increase search engine rankings.
  8. Find out what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can be done manually and set a regular schedule each week, or several times a month to increase your rankings at major search engines.
  9. If you get an article published, post a link to it somewhere on your website, or include your website URL in the article so that people will have easy access to your site.
  10. Include your website URL on your letterhead, business cards, online directories, and anywhere else you can reasonably post it.

If you incorporate several of these tips into your regular website maintenance, you’re sure to see your numbers grow.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Attraction and Attitude – How They Fit Into Your Business Success

One of the things I enjoy most about having my own business is the freedom to choose who I’ll do business with.  Not that I’ve always enjoyed that luxury, but my business is at a point where I can be a bit picky about who I decide to do business with.  Add to that a very specific ‘ideal client’ vision, and I find that I seem to attract clients who fit nicely into that vision without a lot of hard work.

I just spoke to one of my clients in Florida recently, and he reminded me how enjoyable it is to do business together.  He always seems to have fun projects that fit perfectly with my expertise and his positive outlook seems to extend from his business to his personal life!

This made me stop to think about my other clients, and how they fit into the same enjoyable relationship I have built with my Florida client.  To my amazement, they too have the same positive attitude, are fun to work with, and we share a mutual respect and appreciation for each other.

WOW, how cool is that?  This all makes me wonder, how did I get here?  How did this happen?  Could it be the law of attraction?

I think that it does have a lot to do with attraction, and my attitude, and the fact that many of my new clients come to me as referrals.  We usually hang out and have stronger relationships with people who are similar to us, or have the same values as we do.  So it stands to reason that my clients would be referring prospects who are similar to them, who have the same attitudes and values.

Over the years I have had to sever my relationship with a number of clients.  In looking at who they were I can easily see that they had different values, our work was less positive and their attitude towards our work together was what finally made me sever ties because I felt they were bringing me down in my own business.

But I think it’s also something else; I think it’s the brand I’ve created for myself.  I believe that along with the logo, website, tagline, etc., that creates my brand, so does my appearance, professional image and ethical standards.  And I want to do business with people who appreciate my expertise and with whom I can share a mutual respect.  Ifthey find no value in our work together, we’re just not a good fit for each other. Don’t we all want to do business with people who respect us and appreciate our expertise?

I guess I’m not at all surprised that my clients share these same traits; hopefully, some of that comes from working together and sharing these common goals…that’s in essence what I do, help my clients market and brand themselves to establish that polished and professional image they’ve worked so hard to achieve, and help them to attract clients and prospects that share those traits.

After being in business more than 20-years, I’m grateful for all the clients and colleagues who have helped make my company such a great success; and helped me to establish such a professional and enjoyable brand. 🙂  I wish you all the same!

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Internet Marketing Strategies that Won’t Empty Your Bank Account

Any business will benefit a lot from various Internet marketing methods. But you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars just to get some decent exposure for your company. There are ways to make your business be seen and felt without doing overkill with your marketing dollars.

Make use of your online power – through Internet marketing. Here are simple methods that you may consider to boost the visibility of your business without shelling out more than what you can afford. However, these techniques need patience and some footwork to produce the best results.

First, you need a website before you can make use of these low cost Internet marketing strategies. If you don’t have one, create one using free technology like WordPress.org, or hire someone to develop a site for you. This will be used in employing the following Internet marketing techniques.

1. Affiliate Marketing

This is the process of recruiting a network of smaller websites known as affiliates to drive targeted traffic to a website. Ad copy and links will be provided by the companies you will be promoting; or by you if you are looking to setup an affiliate program. You will have to pay a certain percentage of the sales profit to your affiliates in order to take advantage of this type of program.  If you become an affiliate for someone else’s products, you will earn the commissions for any sales generated through your site.

2. Links

One of your goals should be to attain a good ranking with search engines. One way to do it is through link building. This could be done through trading links to other businesses that are related with yours, or using social media posts to drive traffic back to your site.

3. Newsletters

Sending out electronic newsletters to your subscribers (those who signed up for your newsletters) will help greatly in establishing a good working relationship with your customers or prospective customers. It has to be short, sweet, consistent and written for a general audience.

4. E-mail Marketing

As one of the best cost-effective Internet marketing tools, it is a very important method of keeping your customers aware of your products and services. Just make sure to avoid spamming or soon enough you will have chased off potential clients and could elicit complaints.

5. Articles

If you put quality content in the form of articles in your website along with your products and services, search engines will have to index your website. Getting you website indexed by popular search engines means more traffic for you.

6. Forums

Expand your Internet networks by joining forums that mainly discuss items related to your products and services. Actively posting responses or answers and asking relevant information will build your reputation as that forum’s member and boost your company’s visibility through the connections you’ll make.

While these are certainly not the only low to no-cost marketing options to increase your Internet presence and grow your business, they are some of the best ways to start to develop a marketing plan that includes a number of platforms, on and off the Internet, to establish a profitable and growing business.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

What My Cat Taught Me About Niche Marketing

Some people are “dog people,” others are “cat people.” I’m a cat person. Regardless of which pet you prefer, we can all agree that pets enrich our lives in many ways. They provide unconditional affection, they don’t care what we look like, and sometimes they even teach us a life lesson.

But I never expected my cat to teach me a marketing lesson! A niche marketing lesson, to be more precise.

At this point, the dog lovers reading this are saying that this cat person is crazy. But I’m not. Here’s how it happened.

Like millions of other pet lovers, I bought plenty of pet toys. We all want to be able to interact with our pets, yet still want them not to be bored when we’re away.

My cat went through the usual toy assortment: feathers, balls with bells in them, foam balls, catnip, string, and an assortment of stuffed rodents. Because we all want the best for our furry friends, I bought the biggest stuffed rat I could find. It received an occasional sniff but was mostly ignored.

The medium-sized stuffed mice received more attention, but only if I moved the mouse or threw it for the cat. He wouldn’t play with it on his own.

Then my cat was given a pair of tiny stuffed mice. I thought they were too small and would be ignored just as the giant rat was.

Boy was I wrong!

Like a lion on a gazelle, my cat pounced on the tiny mouse and gave it a beating it would never forget. He played mouse hockey through the house, scoring goals under the refrigerator and under the stove. He played baseball, tossing the mouse high into the air and catching it again, or hitting a home run on the way down. He played jungle lion, proudly carrying his prey back to his waiting pride (me!).

So what does all this warm fuzzy cat stuff have to do with online sales?

It’s a metaphor for niche marketing. The cat is the consumer. The cat toys are your products. The ultimate goal is to match the former with the latter.

Your first product, the giant rat, was of vague interest to the consumer (the cat). The consumer sniffed at your ad or sales page, but did not like what he smelled, and moved on. No sales.

Your second product, the medium-sized mice, was more interesting to the potential buyer. He would take action, but only after intensive prompting on your part. You would probably have to spend a lot on pay per click ads or gave away lots of bonuses to get his business. A few sales might be made, but it would be expensive to get those sales.

But your third product, the mini-mouse, was pure magic! Your cat consumer took one look, something in his brain clicked, and a sale was made. It was as if your product was a key that unlocked the part of the customer’s brain that triggered the buying impulse. Jackpot!

That’s what my cat taught me about niche marketing. You must find a product that somebody desperately wants (preferably a large group of them). That product must be exactly what they were looking for, even if they didn’t know they wanted it! It must be so tantalizing that your customer is more concerned about playing with his new toy than he or she is about paying for it.

You see, I made a classic info-product mistake with my cat. I gave him what I thought he would like. I wasted money promoting large stuffed rodents and heaps of other toys to him. What I didn’t do is ask him what he needed and give him that!

Don’t make the same mistake! Figure out what your customers want FIRST, and give them that. Then watch them pounce on it so fast that the payment process is almost an afterthought for them.

I have since learned that the mini-mice are about the same size as real mice. No wonder the cat was sold on them immediately! He had never seen a real mouse, but there was a mini-mouse sized niche in his brain that was instantly gratified by the smallest mouse toy.

Don’t give your customers what you think they need. Ask them what they want, and give them that. Then you will have truly created a better mousetrap, and they will beat a path to your door (and your bank account)!

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

An Unexpected Connection

Several months ago I was contacted by a woman looking for a transcriptionist.  Even though I no longer provide this service, I got some basic information and told her I’d check around to see if I could find someone to help.

I called back the next day and inadvertently got to speak to her boss.  I explained that I’d found three options for him, one local (as he had requested), and two outside the area. and asked if it would be okay for me to give them his contact information. 

He agreed, but was genuinely shocked that I had called back, and that I would be willing to help him find someone.  I explained that he had a need I could help fulfill because of my connections within the industry, and that I was happy to be of service.

We spoke for several more minutes, just general chit chat about what each of us does, and I went on my merry way.  Two weeks later I reconnected to be sure the three referrals I’d sent him had indeed followed through. 

They had, and he was very appreciative for my referrals.  We exchanged a few more niceties and wished each other well. 

About two weeks later, he called me with referrals to two prospects he thought would be a good fit for me.  WOW, who would have thought that just because I went a little out of my way, that someone would feel obliged to return the favor?

Both of his referrals turned into new clients, and I feel as if I have made a connection with someone who will most likely be a good resource for years to come.  I’ve even returned the favor and suggested his services to several of my networking buddies with a need; networking at its best.  We both seem to have similar business standards and acumen, making for an unexpected friendship.

The lesson for me was to leave no stone unturned.  If you’re presented with a situation where you’re not the right fit for someone, don’t stop there.  Be a resource, help them to find a good fit and you may enjoy an unexpected connection to someone who can help you grow your business.  I consider it to be a part of my overall service to customers and prospects.  In doing so, I have created a relationship that will be beneficial to my business for years to come!

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Marketing Like a Sea Turtle

I recently watched the plight of newly hatched sea turtles, slowly and methodically making their way to the ocean.  They faced all sorts of outside forces that turned hundreds of hatchlings into a mere 30-40 living specimens who actually made it to the ocean.

Once there, they quickly learn how to manage life around their sea-based predators and are even now believed to stay on course and return to their original nesting grounds 30-50 years later, with the use of magnetic fields.

It’s really fascinating to consider that this creature is able to survive such slim odds of making it to the ocean, and then finds itself traveling thousands of miles in a lifetime, based on magnetic maps in their heads.

I’ve found that in marketing my business, or even when I’m helping one of my clients market their own, taking things slowly and methodically is really the most beneficial way of establishing the long-term relationship that leads to good, qualified leads and ideal clients for all of us.

While there may be hundreds of other competitors navigating the same marketing waters, what I believe differentiates us, is the consistency and completely mapped out marketing plan that is focused on the right target market for our specific business; a plan that builds rapport, establishes our expertise, and provides prospects and clients with viable, trackable, and profitable solutions to grow their businesses on multiple levels.

I’ve been pleased to see that people are finally realizing that they need to get back on track with their marketing; but still somewhat befuddled that they do it without a marketing plan in place.  This makes it extremely difficult to be held accountable to implementing the plan, whether it’s you personally doing the implementation, in-house staff, or virtual professionals.

It’s difficult for you to track your results if you don’t have a clear picture of your marketing initiatives; when they’re being implemented and having something in place to track their results.  Even something as simple as asking a prospect, ‘how did you hear about us’, would be helpful, but is usually not consistently requested of a new client.

So I encourage you to be one of those living specimens that makes it through the sea of competitors by creating a simple marketing plan using the latest technologies to improve your consistency and productivity while gaining ideal clients who will be best served by what you have to offer.

Times are tough, the economy is starting to rebound, making now the best time for you to re-invent your approach to marketing your business. 

If you would be interested in discussing how we might be able to assist you please feel free to contact us for a complimentary consultation to discover what options are available to bring more qualified leads to your business.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Ten Tips to Increase Website Traffic Without Any Expense

We use several strategies and search engine optimization (SEO) tactics to help clients increase their online presence and rankings through our Internet marketing and social media support, however, there are several things you can do for yourself regularly, to help increase your rankings at the major search engines that are easy to implement and maintain.

Here are 10 simple ways to improve your SEO with little to no expense (depending on whether or not you’re a Do it Yourselfer or have website support and maintenance done by a Virtual Assistant (VA), or in-house staffer/IT Support.).  I hope you find them helpful.

  1. Schedule regular updates and changes of information and resources on your main website pages.  This activity spiders out to the search engines to let them know something’s happening at your site.
  2. Add resources and links to other sites, even affiliate sites, where you can make a second income stream would be helpful.  It not only provides an additional stream of income, it also brings attention to your site.
  3. Update or add keywords and meta tags.  Search your niche and see what pops up, ask your clients what words they might use in a search engine if they were looking for you.  They may come up with words you hadn’t even thought of.
  4. Add features such as a newsletter subscribe, free report download, or survey questions.  Rotating survey questions is a great way to bring visitors back again and again.
  5. Use your website in your marketing pieces.  Write articles that would be of interest to your clients and include the URL on the print or electronic marketing piece to drive more traffic to your site.
  6. Create private areas of your website where clients can login and retrieve projects or files.
  7. Add a blog, or connect to your site from your blog, to increase search engine rankings.
  8. Find out what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can be done manually and set a regular schedule each week, or several times a month to increase your rankings at major search engines.
  9. If you get an article published, post a link to it somewhere on your website, or include your website URL in the article or a resource box, so that people will have easy access to your site.
  10. Include your website URL on your letterhead, business cards, online directories, and anywhere else you can reasonably post it.

If you incorporate several of these tips into your regular website maintenance, and updates, you’re sure to see your numbers grow and increase your rankings making your site more accessible to your target market.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Have You Lost Your Nerve?

As a young teenager, our family spent carefree summers at a secluded lake house about 2-hours from St. Louis.  I recall getting up early and sneaking off to a secret spot in the woods where someone had built a cool tree house.  The view was spectacular and on many occasions it afforded me quiet seclusion to look far out over the countryside, or when a nighttime stroll was in order, a fabulous spot to stargaze. 

To get to the main part of this ingenious tree house, you had to cross a 30-foot rope bridge strung between two trees, about 25-feet above the Earth.  I didn’t for an instant consider the danger it posed, and yet, today, I would not even consider taking such a risk, now knowing that I’m not invincible, as I’m sure I thought I was at that young age.

So how did I lose this daring bravado?  Why do I find myself steering clear of taking risks?  Isn’t it risk that got me into my own business?  Don’t I take risks every day?

Somewhere along the line I lost that child-like spirit that made me fearless.  Don’t worry though, I don’t think it’s gone, it was just resting. 

Recently, I stepped back and took a close look at my business and where it seems to be headed.  I absolutely LOVE what I do, and enjoy immensely the incredible group of clients I work with, but I wanted to do more.  I wanted to ask my clients what more I could do to help them.  I wanted to find out what new challenges they might face in their businesses, to see if I couldn’t find some way to help them.

About a month ago, I created a short, 5-minute survey and sent it to my networking buddies, clients, and prospects…more than 500 recipients received it, but only one of my clients responded.  This obviously was not the way to reach them, so I picked up the phone and made a few calls.

After leaving scads of voicemail messages, I finally connected with a few.  The common thread seemed to be that everyone feels downtrodden in their businesses.  They’re taking on more of the workload, working longer hours, cutting back on expenses wherever they are able, and riding out the economic storm.

While I certainly understand and feel the economic pinch, maybe I haven’t lost that daring bravado after all.  I’m not waiting for the economy to bounce back; I’m getting creative about finding ways of reaching new clients, and developing new marketing strategies to educate potential clients on the benefits and value of working together.

I think I know a secret.   I might be one of a select few people who realizes that while everyone else is cutting back on marketing, this is probably the best time for me to jazz up and increase my marketing to keep my name, top-of-mind, and maybe even introduce some hot prospect to the freedom of working with a virtual professional.

I’ve started speaking more, writing more articles, reconnecting with past clients, and asking for referrals.  I’ve even added print advertising to a specialized local newspaper because of the larger demands I see outside of my normal niche, to help people who are feeling overwhelmed and unproductive.

So I challenge you to take just a minute to find that daring, invincible child within you and take the necessary steps to keep your business going and growing.  Even if it’s just revamping your marketing materials, creating a new tag-line, updating your website, attending a networking event, or starting that blog you’ve been wanting, now is the time to take action, get organized, consider options to increase productivity and workflow, and stay positive.  And should you need someone to discuss your challenges with, keep me in mind!

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com