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The Encore Entrepreneur

FEMALE ONLINE BUSINESS OWNERS OVER 40

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Our marketing methodology helps ensure your content is doing its job. If the content you're creating isn't getting you anything, if you're not getting traction and no one's commenting, and you are not attracting people to your opt-ins, your email list, or anything like that, something is missing. 

In this episode, we cover several things that need to be in place to make sure that the content you create is what your audience actually wants. But we don't stop there! That's kind of the marketing piece of it, but we really go deep into the sales aspect of it as well because your content not only helps market your business but it helps to create a smooth, seamless sales process. We hope that you enjoy the actionable tips and advice that we give in this episode and you put some of it to use in your business today.

Episode Transcript

[01:55] Deirdre Harter: We just finished holding our wildly popular Marketing Methodology Workshop last week, and we wanted to talk about the importance of having this Marketing Methodology framework and the power that it holds. And we are gathering all of our attendees' AHA moments, the things that they said about it, and we wanted to share that with you because we think that you're going to resonate with some of the things they say. And this is going to help you pinpoint some areas in your marketing that maybe have been frustrating, overwhelming, or just simply not effective. So one of the things that we know is important to do is to always be assessing and asking yourself, are your marketing efforts working?


Are Your Marketing Efforts Working?


[02:42] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: What we know to be true is that you cannot move forward or even get started if you're just winging it. You've got to have a marketing system that gives you the guidance and boundaries to know what to do. And that's why the Marketing Methodology framework is so impactful. And people absolutely love the fact that we teach them about topic categories, and we provide a content grid. It's a quarterly content grid and an annual Trello board. We give them all of these tools and show them how to put them all together and work in their business to create their own customized version of the framework. 

Because we're big proponents of customizing everything, we don't believe that anyone should fit into a box. We believe that we should build things that fit you. And so that's what people love about it. The other thing that they love is that we actually teach you the how during the Marketing Methodology Workshop. And that's a big surprise. A lot of people will go to a workshop or a webinar, and people will fill their minds with fluff, and it might be good information, and they might tell them what it is you need, but they don't give you the how. We believe in being fully transparent and giving as much value as possible. So when you walk away from attending the marketing methodology, you too will feel amazed. Just like our past attendees. 

What they love is that they gain clarity, and they know that they won't lose it because we give them a system that they can use. And that's what we set up is we say you can build your customized marketing methodology framework and use it over and over again to create a rinse-and-repeat system for your business to keep you moving forward.


[04:23] Deirdre Harter: Have you ever heard the phrase what gets measured gets improved? Well, it is very true in business as well, in other things in life. And when we say what gets measured, there are a lot of key metrics that we can look at in our business, and we need to be identifying what those metrics are. And we do need to be looking at them. But let's just talk about what we should be measuring. 

When it comes to your marketing efforts, it depends on what your marketing strategy looks like. But for everyone, we all need to decide what do we need to be measuring and what does good look like? Because a lot of times we look at metrics or we've never predefined, like, what am I going for here? How do I know that this is working and working to the point where I'm satisfied with it? And so I think that's where we all have to start is answering for ourselves, what does good look like? And I'm not talking about how many likes do we get on a post. Because that really, yes, it's something we can measure, but it isn't really giving us the result that we want. So knowing the result in all of our marketing efforts. 

The whole point of it is to build the know, like, and trust factor and to get our prospects through this journey. To get them from just becoming aware of who we are and what we do to the point of understanding that the problem that they have or the solution they're seeking is something that we can help them with. And then for them to realize that this is the person that I want to work with. So that's really the goal in all of our marketing. And so we have to really establish what that is and then have a way to track it in a way that doesn't take up all your time. 

I know that there are entire marketing departments, right, where they measure all sorts of things. And as solopreneurs or entrepreneurs with a small team, you can't measure everything. So as long as you have two or three key metrics, that's really the key. And one of the things that Carmen and I are always looking at, we're always looking at what's the conversion rate? Like, how many of the people that are coming through our event, for example, the Marketing Methodology Workshop, how many of those people are actually engaging with the content, going through the workshop, and then becoming clients? And by knowing this number, we always know how many people we need to get to the workshop and how many we need to have actually engaged. 

Because, as you know, we can sign up for this, that, and the other thing. And half the time, we don't even go, right? We think we're going to have time, and then we don't. So one of the big things that we know to be true is that if we can get people engaged, they're going to get an absolutely amazing experience going through this. They're going to get the big results.

We've been told you guys should be charging for this, or we've been told this is worth more than the last program I paid thousands of dollars for. So it's really that effective. So what this informs us is that we spend our time really getting everyone to the engagement piece. So rather than just having them register and hope and keep our fingers crossed that people show up, we're actually actively spending time and resources to get people engaged and working with them all the way through. Because for us, that's where we get our return on investment. So we encourage you to think about that. What are you measuring? And how do you know something's working? If it's working to where you can optimize it, or if it's just giving you such dismal results that you shouldn't even be spending your time on it.


How To Use Market Research To Hone In On Your Buyer Persona


[08:10] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: Yeah, those are such good points, and there's so much to it. But one of the big keys to this is to learn how to use market research to hone in on your buyer persona. And the reason we want to do this is because we can't know if something's working if we're not attracting the right people. 

So let's say you are getting a bunch of people to sign up for your thing, whatever it is, but then it all drops off from there. There are many ways to look at the data that you collect, but that could be one sign that you're attracting the wrong people. So how do we attract the right people? We have to do market research. 

And before your eyes glaze over the idea of market research because it sounds so boring, it's actually fun because you're trying to find these exact people and what makes them tick. So if you look at it like you're Sherlock Holmes and you're looking for the exact right people, it's a fun scavenger hunt. And there are several different things that we can do in market research. Different ways to hone in on our buyer persona and then do competitor research. But one of them is the low-touch method. 

We're going to talk about a couple of methods here. And low-touch is the first one. Low-touch is where you are going online, and you are looking for either Facebook or LinkedIn Groups or Instagram accounts or Facebook accounts or LinkedIn accounts where the person who runs it, they're talking about, and to the same people that would be your ideal clients. You can do this on forums. You can do it on social media. You can do it by looking at, like, Amazon books that speak to your ideal client and looking at the reviews. 

We want to find where those ideal clients are commenting. And what we're looking for is the conversations or the threads that pertain to anything that is what you help people with. So it's collecting ideal client language. This is step one to it. You want to identify them. You want to find out where they hang out. You can learn how to do that by doing Google searches, right? Search online and find the groups, find the forums, and find the accounts where these people are hanging out. And then you go to those regularly, and you look for the comments that match the kind of things that you talk about or the way that you help them. 

And so this allows you to start understanding them more. It's very important because if we think that we know that I help Jane lose ten pounds within three months, well, okay, that's great, but you can't just go by that. You also need to know what matters most to Jane. What are her stumbling blocks? What are her aspirations? What is her big why? We have to know so many things. We need to know not only the demographics like Jane is a mom of two living in the Midwest. We have to know the psychographics. What matters to Jane? What does she love, what does she not love, what does she wish she had, what are her dreams? All those kinds of things. And that's what you find by doing market research. And this is the low-touch method. Deirdre is going to talk about the high-touch method.


[11:32] Deirdre Harter: And I think that as we've worked with clients in the service-based industry, and we're talking about those who use online marketing systems, a lot of you have done this already, right? Like you did it at the very beginning of your business. And the thing that we have realized by working with all of our clients and for ourselves is that we are always adjusting and we're optimizing. And so this is a process that you need to visit regularly to make sure that you really do have it dialed in. Because sometimes we think we have it dialed in or our buyer persona or ideal client avatars, we like to call it, it can change, or we gain new insights as we go. 

The more clients we work with, the more insights that we get. And the reason we're getting those insights is because we're talking to them. And so that's really what the high-touch method is about. It is about talking to our clients, talking to our prospective clients. The more conversations that we have, the more we begin to see patterns. We begin to see the things that are stumbling blocks for most everyone that we talk to. And then we know this is for sure one of the things that our ideal client has a problem with. 

Now, there's always a spectrum of what our ideal clients are dealing with and what their challenges are. But what you'll find is that there are one or two points that are really the thing that is the challenge for almost every single one of them. And you only know that by kind of crowd-sourcing this information, right? That's what market research is. 

And so with the high-touch method, whether you are just starting out in your business or whether you've been in business for a while, this is a method that you should be using on a regular basis. And if you're starting out, you need to do a lot of this in the beginning. And basically, the way that it works is that you are finding your ideal clients through the low-touch method like Carmen talked about, and then you are asking them to get on a call with you. The way that you're asking is saying, hey, I'm doing market research. This is what I do. And this is the program that I'm—and you can say I'm thinking of putting together. Or if you've already got your program, you can say I just really want to make sure that my program is solving the greatest needs of my ideal clients or my prospects, and I'm doing some market research to validate that. Would you be willing to hop on a call with me and I ask you just a few questions to get your input? 

So when you put it that way, people, they all are wanting to help. If you let them know that it's just a few questions, that it's only going to take a few minutes, and actually stick to that, unless, of course, you both decide it's a great conversation, and let's keep going. And you're asking them to give their opinion. And so when you do this, you're going to get a tremendous response, and you're going to be able to collect all of this data, all these things. You're asking the same questions to everybody, and then you're going to be able to see the trends. You're going to be able to see what most people are having a problem with, and then you're going to get how they talk about it because it's really important to be able to speak it in their words.


[15:49] Deirdre Harter: We also can use competitor research. This is part of our market research, and competitor research can really give us a couple of different sets of data. The first set is that we are always looking for what's the gap in the market? What is the thing that other people in my market are providing? What solutions are they providing, and where are they missing the mark? Because there's always a gap. There's always something that we're hearing in our high-touch conversations or seeing in our low-touch conversations. 

And then, when we're looking at those in our space that are doing something similar, we're finding that they aren't covering it. That's the gap. So when you can find those gaps and then you can fill them, then that gives you that unique value proposition. It's something that sets you apart from everyone else in your industry. 

Now we can also use competitor research that can be part of your low-touch research as well. You can look at what people are commenting on their posts, what kind of posts are they putting out, and what kind of topics are they talking about? So competitor research can really be invaluable for you to see what they are getting a really good response on, and so then that can help inform what your content is talking about as well. And it can help you position yourself to say, I agree with this, or I don't agree with this, and then that is what we call conviction marketing, and we're going to be going over what that looks like as well.


[17:23] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: Yeah. And this competitor research, when I mentioned you could go onto Amazon and look for books that speak to your ideal client, that's kind of like competitor research, right? Or even any of this low-touch stuff, because you're going to someone else's area and seeing what they're talking about, and what Deirdre said, is just spot on. We want to find things that, especially with books, you can see things, reviews that say, this is great. I wish they would have gone into this topic in more detail or something like that. Those are the gaps you want to look for. The things where people are like, this is great, I love this, or I wish they talked more about this. That's how you identify those gaps. 


Connect With Your Target Audience On An Emotional Level


During our Marketing Methodology Workshop, we talk a lot about connecting with your audience on an emotional level. It's one of the main themes that run through the entire workshop as well as market research. Because in order to connect with them on an emotional level, you have to first know them. And in order to know them, you have to have done this research and gotten on calls and spoken with enough of them to actually know them. 

The connecting with them on an emotional level comes into play in your content. And this is when we're able to take their ideal language. Ideal client language is what we talk about and use in our content. So we always say during the workshop that marketing is simply communication, and that is exactly what it is. But if we think about what it's like to be on any kind of social media channel and you've got all these things blasting out at you constantly, you scroll through your feed, what is it that makes you stop? What is it that makes you stop the scroll? This is what we want to craft in our content, and it's not something that's a mystery. It's all about taking ideal client language and using their exact words in our content. 

Connecting with your ideal client on an emotional level allows you to understand and put into your marketing what are their biggest pain points and what are their biggest dreams. So when someone is scrolling, and they see your post, and it says the words that they actually think in their mind, they're like, oh my gosh, it's like she knows me. It's like she's speaking directly to me. Has that ever happened to you where you've been either you've listened to something or read something, and it's like, oh my gosh, that's me. That's what we want to do. And when you get that feeling, it's because that person or company knows their target audience really well. And that is like the biggest superpower you can have, is simply knowing your target audience and then using their language in your marketing. 

So knowing your target audience comes first, and then speaking their language. And we want to make sure that you do not make the mistake of summarizing or paraphrasing what they say. We want to use their exact words. It's not like, oh, now I kind of have an idea of what's going on with them. So now I'm going to explain what I think it is. It is using their exact words. Because if you try to use your words to explain what you think they mean, you're still going to miss the mark. So we want to make sure knowing your audience by researching comes first, and then using their exact language comes next.


Relevant Content Is How To Overcome The Objections Of Potential Customers


[20:39] Deirdre Harter: Most of the women who go through the Marketing Methodology Workshop we have asked them, we always ask a whole bunch of questions about:

  • Where are you most stuck when it comes to your marketing? 

  • What about your lead generation feels really hard for you? 

  • What's your biggest challenge when it comes to converting prospects into clients? 

So we're always asking these kinds of questions, and we're always gathering this data. And here's the great thing most of the women are saying, well, I always feel stuck when it comes to content. I don't know what to talk about, or I don't know if I'm talking about the right things. Well, the beauty of this market research, using these methods and knowing our audience, and speaking their language, is that they're informing what it's supposed to be, right? So we don't have to come up with it. 

I think sometimes we feel like we have to be so revolutionary, right, in what we're talking about or what we're coming up with, or that it just has to be brilliant. But it doesn't. All it has to be is speaking to them. Now, there are different kinds of posts and think of it like putting on a different lens. So it's still the same topic that you would be talking about. 

So let's say that it's mindset, for example. So that's your main topic. So you're talking about one aspect of mindset that affects your ideal client. And we're speaking their language, right? We're pulling some of the phrases they say, and then we're using that as the basis for what our post is going to be, or our blog article, or the email, whatever it is. But then we need to put a different lens on all of that. And by that, I mean there are three lenses that we like to use. One is hope, one is conviction, and one is how-to. 

Now, I know you are all familiar with how-to, right? We all do those posts. Here's how to do this. Here are five tips on how to overcome such and such. So we all know how to do that, but I don't think enough of us understand or use the conviction and the hope. And the conviction part is going back to what I said about competitor research. It's about looking at what is the competition doing? Where are they missing the mark, and what are they saying that you agree with or you don't agree with? That's conviction. 

People want to know what you stand for and what you believe. Because people buy from people that they can resonate with. And if they don't know what your values are, if they don't know what you stand for, then you're just blending in with every other service provider, coach, consultant, whatever it is that you do. So that's why conviction is so important. And I think sometimes we feel afraid to get out there and say what we really mean. Now, we don't have to make this like a big political debate or anything like that, but we do need to be clear on what we believe and why we believe it. 

So the other one is hope. And hope is really important. During the workshop, we are talking about in order for these people to go from being a prospect to being a client, one of the key things that they need to have is what they need to believe about themselves. This is a very important part of this prospect journey. So we're all identifying what our prospects need to believe about themselves in order to know that this is the right solution for them. And this is where hope marketing comes in. 

Anyone who has a problem they need to solve or something they want that they haven't been able to get yet, they are having trouble believing it's going to happen, especially if they've tried this, that, and the other thing to solve the problem or to get what they want. And it hasn't worked so far, right? So their hope meter is a little on the low end, and we have to get that hope meter back up so we can use our content to show them, yes, it's not you that's the problem. The solutions you have were just not the right ones. But there is a solution that will work for you, and here's why. And then, we go into how it's going to work and why it's going to work. And this is where client testimonials really come into play. 

We have a ton of testimonials from our Marketing Methodology workshop, and although it's free, we use those testimonials to use as our hope content. Like, these women have gone through it. They were struggling with all of these things with their marketing. They went through the workshop and now look at the transformation—that is hope content. And we need to make sure that we are including that in the content that we're putting out. 

Now, another part of this is ensuring that we have relevant content. And relevant content is how to overcome the objections of our potential customers and clients. So our content can and should do the heavy lifting for us when it comes to overcoming objections. So this is another way we can use content to help our clients through this journey that they're going from prospect to client. A lot of times, women will get onto, let's say, you have sales calls. Like that's the primary way that you enroll people into your program or your course, and it's through a sales call. Well, those can often feel hard, right? Because a lot of times our prospects are coming in kind of cold and they have a lot of questions, and they have some objections. And I think the word objections has gotten kind of a bad rap. 

Objections really mean that they just don't have enough information yet. So when they're giving an objection, like, oh, I don't have the money, or, oh, I don't have the time, or now is not the right time, a lot of the time now, sometimes it can be true, but sometimes it can just be the fact that they have questions they aren't sure. And that's the easiest thing that they can say at the moment. And so our sales calls can become a formality when your content answers your ideal client's questions. So we can do all this ahead of time. 

The other thing that we know that our audience has a lot of difficulty with is those sales calls. A lot of times, we're not sales professionals, right? We are experts in all different fields. And you may be an expert, you're an expert in your field, but it probably isn't sales, right? And yet we have to have this sales process that we go through where we're conveying what we have to offer to someone who needs that. And I want to encourage you and let you know that where we get stuck is that we think that we need to hit that ball out of the park right from the get-go, and we need to have a home run every time. But really, sales takes a lot of practice, and I think that if you go into it thinking, well, I'm going to need to do all these calls, and they're just practice calls. 

Now, I used to play softball when I was younger and all through high school, and I remember I couldn't even begin to tell you how many practices I had to go through before we ever got to the first game. I was never going to hit a home run in the game or even a base hit unless I went to the twenty practices that were scheduled ahead of time. I had to do it, and we had to practice again and again and again and again. And it is no different with any skill that we need to learn and master in our business, and sales is one of them. So that might take some of the pressure off for you if you can think of it that way.


[28:03] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: Another thing to help this sales call overcome objections aspect of it is to develop your answers to the most common objections that you hear. So if you have a list of common objections, and this is part of that whole practice—people sometimes are afraid to even hop on a call because they don't know what they're doing or they feel like they don't know what they're doing. But if you go into it with that Sherlock Holmes investigative mindset, it makes it so much more fun. It helps remove the emotion a little bit because you're going in it to learn, you know, about what the offer that you have, how it helps your ideal clients. So you already know that the rest of this is just a matter of practice, as Deirdre said. 

As you're on these calls, whatever the most common objections are, when you're off of a call, you can start making a list of these things that come up and crafting the response to those. And sometimes what happens is we go through it, we have common objections, and we have to see how our response works for that objection. And people are different. So as Deirdre said, sometimes people will say, I can't afford it, and they really can't afford it. Other times people are using it as an excuse. The more you get on these calls, the more you start understanding it, but you have to get on them, and you have to get into action so that you can start seeing what happens and fine-tuning your process. And the more calls you're on, the easier it is to create custom responses on the fly. 

In the beginning, it's kind of like training wheels on a bicycle, right? We need to have our list of the common objections and what our responses are. Those are like our training wheels, we have them at the ready, so if someone comes up with something, we feel more confident on the call. That's what it does for us when we can think about what this call is going to be. And another aspect of this as well is that you have an agenda for the call. I'm kind of going off-topic here a little bit and getting into sales calls. But if you know how the call is going to go and then you have your answers to the most common objections, well, that helps give you a sense of confidence where you might not have any at the beginning. And that's all we need. Sometimes we just need a stepping stone worth of confidence to get us moving. Because once we're moving, we start seeing things, and you start noticing patterns and identifying commonalities when you get on these calls, and then it's not a no-brainer, it becomes easy. It's just like anything else. Practice makes perfect. 

We want to invite you to join us for our next Marketing Methodology Workshop, where we go deep into all of this and help you walk away with your framework customized to your business that will help you plan your marketing for the next twelve months. You can join us by heading over to encoreempire.com/mmw for the Marketing Methodology Workshop. We'll see you there.



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