How to Measure Your Personal Value

What do you do when you are looking for a new job or completing a performance review at work to sell yourself? Do you talk about projects you’ve accomplished? Do you talk about what other people your age or title are making?

The key to getting the job, raise, or promotion you want is selling your value.

So how do you properly measure your value?

  • As a marketer, how do your efforts contribute to the revenue of the company? How do the things you work on directly or indirectly bring in customers, sales, subscriptions, etc.?
  • What salaries are being offered to people with similar talents and roles to you?
  • How much institutional knowledge do you have and how hard would it be to replace you with a new hire?
  • How many personal contacts do you bring with you when you join a new company or leave your existing one?
  • How well liked are you by other members of your team and organization as a whole?

The answers to all of these questions and more will impact your value to any company. The key is to come up with an overall estimate.

And after you do, think about it from the point of the view of the hiring manager or person determining whether or not you get that raise or promotion you’re after. Is it easy for them to see that value in you? What are their alternatives? How can you sell yourself to them?

The answers to those questions will help you determine the best approach. Go into an interview or performance review meeting with a clear goal in mind, and create a detailed process to sell yourself and achieve that goal.

If You Only Do One Thing – Part 8

Welcome to the latest installment of our new weekly blog series, If You Only Do One Thing. Every Monday, we will discuss one thing that you can start doing today to improve your marketing performance.

With so much advice floating around from so many different sources, it can be tough for marketers and small business owners to know where to focus. This series aims to help you out. Last week’s thing was Attend a Tradeshow.

Today’s Thing = Promote Special Offers

Consumers in most industries are price conscious. This means that you can get their attention with special offers.

Pricing is a key piece of marketing. It is one of the levers you can pull anytime to drive increased sales and generate interest in the marketplace. And if you’re not using that lever enough, now is a great time to start.

Special offers, sales, or discounts – however you want to refer to them – will help you drive business. And they can come in any number of forms.

A few of the most popular are free or discounted shipping, a dollar amount or percentage off, bulk or volume-based discounting, bundle or add-on pricing. Most companies see success when they offer a variety of these and other types of offers, instead of doing the same thing every time. It is a good idea for your business to try a number of different offers to find out what works best with your audience.

Another good idea for getting the most out of special pricing is to make it time-sensitive. Adding a deadline, and keeping the amount of time the offer is made limited, adds urgency to the decision-process, and will get more people to sign up.

Simply offering the special on your website isn’t enough if nobody knows about it. Make sure you announce it, both on the website and in any advertising you are already doing. This will drive more people to the site and should increase the conversion rate once they get there. Meaning more people will visit, and a greater percentage of them will buy.

If you’re not offering specials or discounts, this is one thing you should definitely start.

Share “If You Only Do One Thing” with all your marketing friends, and suggest future topics in the comments below or on Twitter @zheller. 

The 3 Stages of Content Marketing

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Content marketing is a hot topic in the marketing world today. Really, it’s something that many companies have been doing for some time now. But now it has a name. Now it has an industry. And now everyone is getting involved.

Bonus: For some great info about content, pick up a copy of Branding for Bloggers!

But getting started in the content marketing space is not as easy as just writing something. Step 1 is putting a plan together. And your plan should cover what I consider the 3 Stages of Content Marketing.

Stage One – Creation

Developing the right content is key. What you’re looking for is content that is going to be easily promotable, that has relevance to your company and your market, that demonstrates a level of expertise, and that has the potential to get shared. Content marketing companies will use the term “link bait” to describe a piece of content meant to go viral.

Content can be articles, blog posts, how-to’s, lists, videos, or graphics. You can pay for it or create it yourself.

Stage Two – Promotion

Once you create the content, you need to get it noticed. Here is where you need to think about everything from where the content will live, ie. YouTube, your own site, a microsite you develop, a blog, Facebook, etc.

And you will need to develop channels to push more people to it. This might mean developing an email list, promoting the link in social media, contacting other publishers in your space to let them know they can repost your content, etc.

Make it easy for people to repost, share, and like it, maybe even incentivize them to do so by offering giveaways or membership.

Stage Three – Capture

The last stage is the one that most often gets overlooked. What is the goal of your content? Is it signups, members, customers? Placing great content on your site and driving people to it is great, but where they go or what they do from there is most important.

You need to develop a clear and easy call to action that will steer your new visitors down the sales funnel. Excelling in this stage will mean the difference between success and failure in the content marketing world.


Mistakes to Avoid in Promoting Your Business

The following is a sponsored post.

The internet's global reach means it offers some of the best opportunities available for promoting business.  Social media sites are perfect for spreading the word about a product or service as their ability to quickly disseminate ideas, news and information makes them the cyberspace equivalent of word of mouth.  People using the sites can share information at the touch of a button – something that means the boundaries of traditional forms of advertising no longer need to constrain a business with a flair for energy, ideas and self-promotion.

Despite the many advantages to using social media to promote a business, there are some basic mistakes that should be avoided in order to make the best impression.  Finding what works and what does not is fairly easy and if in doubt, there are IT Consulting services to guide a business through the pitfalls.  

Presenting an image

All those using social media should have a profile picture.  Don’t skimp on this – its crucial to establish an identity from the beginning.  Those who are offering freelance services should have a professional image of themselves as this allows potential clients to see who they are hiring.  The internet allows freelancers to work for clients that they never meet and it really does help to be able to put a face to the name.  Alternatively, the company’s own logo can be used and this is useful for larger organizations where clients may be dealing with more than one person.

An incomplete profile will also raise questions with potential clients.  Ensure that by looking at the profile, clients can see exactly what the business is and what it does.  Profiles that do not hold this information will not get a second look and potential customers will quickly move on, so it is important to make the most of this section.  It is also a good place to create a welcoming atmosphere for new customers. 

Be interactive

Those who use social media sites to promote only their own business may be missing out.  Anything that may be of interest to their customers should be shared as this can sometimes lead to business "buddy ups" where two different companies arrive at an informal arrangement that means they promote the other's products and services.  This will help to bring the business to the attention of many more clients and provide plenty of interesting "tweeted" updates for followers.

More followers on sites such as Twitter and Facebook can lead to more visitors to the business’s own website.  When they get there they want to see activity.  Sections such as ‘news’ or ‘blog’ are ideal for keeping potential customers up to date with the latest products and services and these should be updated regularly to be as effective as possible.

Be responsive

Putting information on social media sites to promote a business is a good idea but it can backfire if customers who ask questions and give feedback are ignored.  It is important to respond quickly to questions and deal with any issues that arise, as it will be clear to other customers if this does not happen.  They want to see that the business cares about its customers and this is a very easy way to show that it does.

The Best Time to Send an Email – Part 1

This is part 1 of a 3 part series on the best time to send promotional emails.

Email marketing is a war. Every email that you send is sent with a purpose (if it’s not, then why are you sending it?). There is a goal, there is a victory.

And every email that you send is made up of a number of battles. These battles must be won in succession in order to win the war and achieve victory. And the more you know about email going into the war, the better your odds.

One of the big email marketing questions is when to send your email. The answer is not so simple, but here are some tips.

First, picture your customers. Who is getting the email? And when are they most likely to read and take action on an email? The answer might be different if your email is going to working adults and if it’s going to college students.

On average, a person in the US receives 7 promotional emails each day. That means that you’re not the only game in town. You need to stand out in a crowded (more crowded every day) inbox.

So let’s begin to dissect the day…

Early morning is no good. You don’t want your email sitting in their inbox with multiple other unread emails. That’s an inbox that is screaming to be ignored, and emails that are screaming to be deleted. When your email hits their inbox, you want it to be top of the list.

9am is the majority of working Americans arrive at work. Most will look at email immediately, some for the first time. Anything before 9am is a gamble.

It’s important to keep in mind that if your audience is national, time zones will come into play. Anything before 12pm EST is before 9am PST, so the mornings are dangerous all around.

Lunch time is a good time to catch people when they are not busy, and able to focus on your “offer”. The average American worker has a lunch break between noon and 1pm, and this is one of the best times to reach them if your intention is a purchase.

Afternoons can tend to feel a little longer, and drag on until quitting time. The closer it gets to the end of the work day, the more a person might be thinking about the commute, and the evening hours. While an email at the end of the work day may get the right kind of attention, there is also the risk of it getting deleted as a “non-essential interruption”. While I would not necessarily recommend an email at this time, it’s still better than late night and early morning.

After 5pm is another danger zone. Many people check email on their phones, but often will leave anything that comes in after hours until the morning. You don’t want that.

So it sounds like we’ve settled on a target time of 12pm-2pm EST. Picture that as the bullseye or the top of the bell curve, with times most immediately before and after that range being the second best.

Stay tuned the remainder of this week for more on email timing.