Thinking about company growth

Sometimes, even if your business is doing okay, there are things that can be done to enhance your companies growth.

It might be you know the problem but don’t have time or resources to work on the solution or you might need an outside resource to come in and from a fresh perspective look at what is working and what isn’t.social-brain-fullimage-960

You may realize that you want to engage more effectively and efficiently with your current and potential customers.

You may hear all the buzz about social media and are not quite sure which social tools fit with your business model or how to effectively combine the traditional approaches with the social media approaches to effectively communicate your brand, have one voice and not be confusing to the audience you are working to engage.

It could seem like you are trying to find a path through a dark forest. If you don’t have a compass, a map and beginning and end point you could just end up getting lost in the deep dark forest. And, just like climbing a steep trail or heading up a mountain to get to the top it can be time consuming and exhausting.

However, with the right information, thorough knowledge and profile of your target audience(s), a solid competitive analysis, a good strategy and knowledge of marketing and communications tools your planning will be more effective and your organization can move toward increasing revenue rather then exhausting funds.

With all the noise and activity in the marketplace, it is easy to become swayed and moved in different directions but with the appropriate goals, objective and plan you will know where you are going. And, when course corrections are necessary and they will be, it will be easier to understand what needs to change and how to make that change.

6 questions to answer before creating content.

I know it’s a temptation to want to move forward quickly when adding pages or new sections to your website.  But, it is really important to think about content and message before moving full speed ahead.

Before creating content,  take the time to answer the following questions.

  • What is the goal of this page or section?  Thinking through this question will not only help you determine the purpose but also the necessity of adding a page or section to your site.  It is necessary?  Is this information better handled elsewhere?  If this is the best place to add this information, what is the key point that you want to make.
  • What is the one thing that you want your reader to understand after they have read your copy? Skimming and scanning is the way web readers review content online, therefore, make sure that the design and copy of your page focuses on the key point and supporting points in a succinct manner.   Use headlines, subheads and bulleted copy for easy reading.  If applicable, visuals such as photos, video or slide presentations are helpful and can hold your audiences attention longer if they relate to the needs of the audience.
  • Who is the audience that this page or section is targeting? Knowing your audience and their goals, needs, ways of working, and their environments will help your site resonate with your audience.  Research, as much as you can, about your audience including who they are, where they are, major characteristics, their questions and their concerns and ultimately how what you are providing meets your audiences specific needs better that your competitors.
  • What phase of the buying cycle is the page addressing?   The buying cycle includes 6 distinct stages–awareness, interest, research, desire, user and evangelist.   Where does the audience you are targeting fit and what stage of the buying cycle are you focusing on?  I know we would all like users but you may find that your audience is only at the interest stage.  If so, they will need different information and approach then someone ready to buy.
  • Considering the topic you are covering, what is the primary benefits you need to communicate?   Knowing your audience is essential in knowing how to identify the key benefits of your product or service in relation to your audience.
  • What keywords and phrases do you need to include for search engine optimization?   The mentality of create and they will come does not work in any area of social media and particularly not your website.  Learn how to enhance your SEO by researching articles online.  There is a wealth of SEO articles all over the internet.

Taking care to answer these questions first will help make the development of the copy and design of your section or page much easier and more effective.

Employee Job Descriptions

So what is it you do?

Well-written job descriptions are an important part of a business structure. Employee job descriptions are written statements that describe the duties, responsibilities, required qualifications, and reporting relationships of a particular job.

These descriptions are based on objective information obtained through analyzing the job, an understanding of the competencies and skills required to accomplish needed tasks, and the needs of the organization to produce work.

One of the prime benefits for employee job descriptions is that they set clear expectations.

While job descriptions are important tools, it helps to be aware of potential downsides. Employee job descriptions can become outdated as soon as you write them in a fast-paced, changing, customer-driven work environment. So supplementing job descriptions with regularly negotiated goals and developmental opportunities is important.

Besides updating regular goals and objectives, employee job descriptions are an important part of the performance management and evaluation system. [Read more…]

Finding your target audience

To be a successful marketer, get inside the head of your prospects and customers. Think like they think,  feel what they feel and literally become that person.

Before spending any marketing dollars, it is important to articulate information about your targeted audience(s).  Putting this information in writing is a useful tool to make sure that there is agreement within your company about the audience and you have a document that you can revisit on a regular schedule or as needed to make sure the information is still accurate or update, if needed.

[Read more…]