All your business, sales & marketing questions answered (colossal Q&A)
I decided to compile a colossal Q&A of the most frequently asked questions that I get from clients. I hope you find this useful for your business!
1. What domain name should I use – my own name or my business name?
Nine times out of ten, I recommend entrepreneurs to use their own name as their domain name. Over time, you’ll likely develop lots of different products/services and may even change directions a few times before you strike gold with your niche. By using your name, you build up an ongoing online reputation no matter what you’re doing (especially if you’re an artist), and you also avoid creating a separate website every time you launch something new.
However, if you are the leader of a community or a movement, or if the purpose of this organization will grow bigger than yourself, then use a company name or the movement’s name as your domain name.
2. What’s the most terrible fault that my website can commit?
Because I’m a designer, you’d think my biggest pet peeve was poor design. Ugly websites don’t bother me because they don’t hurt anybody in the physical sense, in the way poor highway construction or poor building design hurts people. The worst ‘fault’ of a website would be disorganized or unintuitive navigation – not being able to find what I need.
Website navigation is directly tied to how much money you make or don’t make. Organizing content and designing navigation so that your website is optimized for sales – that’s called information architecture. It’s a keen skill to be able to take disparate pieces of your content and create a flow or a story, and frame it as a whole picture.
3. Do I need a fancy schmancy website?
Does a woman need nice clothes? Having a beautiful website is crucial and here’s my opinion: Poor design signals to customers that you don’t care. And you have to wonder whether or not you’re broadcasting that signal.
Ultimately, it’s not about whether you feel you need a fancy website. It’s that customers now are requiring it in order to do business with you. For a long time now, the consumer culture equates great design = trust, and poor design = distrust. People won’t buy if they don’t trust. Design is probably the most tangible action you can take to invite customers to start trusting you.
4. Everyone talks about branding now, but what exactly is it?
I can spend 3 hours on this topic alone! In a nutshell, branding is the act of giving something life. It’s like taking your business, product or service, and making it come alive, as if it were a living, breathing organism. It means humanizing your business – by giving it a brand name, a story, a personality, a symbology and a set of emotions and values.
The purpose of branding (like all business activity) is to create sales. Specifically, it is so that your customers fall in love with your product/service and foster a relationship with you. You want your brand to be a part of your customers’ lives, stories and who they are. When you give your product/service life, it’s your customers who will give it even more life and also the legs to run with. Your brand can grow beyond you when it contains meaning that invigorates the world’s people.
You know how when you’re in love with someone or something, sometimes it’s for no other reason than “just because?” That’s what branding does. Even if you don’t have the best product/service in your class or the prettiest face, you can still be an industry leader if people fall in love with you “just because.”
5. Do I need to worry about SEO?
If your business exists exclusively online and you sell products for a living, then SEO matters because your business relies on new incoming traffic to generate sales. If you’re a professional services provider or if you do business on a more intimate / face to face level, then you will find SEO is just one part of your sales activity.
SEO is really just step 1 of a series of steps. Even after people find your website, your message still has to resonate, your product/service still needs to be attractive, your content needs to build trust, your sales navigation still needs to be intuitive, and you still need to close that sale.
What I will say is this: You can’t help people if they can’t find you. But, everyone’s business is different. Figure out what is the most effective sales activity for you, whether that’s SEO or something else.
6. What activities should I focus on to create sales?
I am starting to entertain the idea that 20 percent of your actions create 80 percent of your business, and 80 percent of your actions create 20 percent of your business (give or take).
Translation: A small part of what you do creates the biggest part of your sales. A huge part of what you do creates a small part of your sales.
Your job is to figure out which small part creates the most bang. For some people, that could be offering free classes or downloads. It could be handing out brochures on the street corner. It could be guest posting on other people’s blogs. Or, it could be selling to repeat clients. Start seeing the patterns in your sales activity and see if you can pinpoint what are the best uses of your time.
7. Do I need to have a huge list to be successful?
It depends on what you’re selling. I sell professional services and I don’t have a big list at all. Because I am great at closing sales, I don’t need that many prospects in order to make money.
If you are selling products, then having a huge list is beneficial because you are relying on volume and conversion. You are not selling to customers one–on-–one and because of that, you’re somewhat removed from your customers’ decision-making process. In compensation of that, volume matters. Numbers matter.
8. How many people do I have to talk to in order to close 1 sale?
The average sales person has to talk to 10 people in order to close 1 to 2 sales. My closing rate is 80 percent, meaning I close the sale 8 out of 10 times. I teach The Intuitive Sales Callto my clients so that you don’t need a huge list to sell and you don’t need to talk to a lot of people to sell.
9. How should I go about social media marketing?
Social media is an advertising and brand-building channel, just like television is. Here’s my opinion about social media: the landscape changes too often and too fast and it’s difficult to keep up if we’re not immersed in tracking its changes 24/7.
Personally, I don’t try to tackle every social media platform because I don’t think that’s the best use of my time. You might find that to be different for you. For energetically sensitive people, engaging in social media too much is actually very draining as well. That’s why the world has media agencies available for hire. Consider hiring a social media strategist to help you. That’s on my list this year.
10. Why do I need a free content strategy?
If you give free content away without a plan, then at best you’ll just be giving away free content and attracting a lot of followers who have no opportunity to pay. Free content must align to a strategy that converts those who consume free content into paying clients. You can create a free content strategy with your blog, newsletter, optin and class content.
My best advice? Create your free content with the end in mind and work your way backwards.
11. What is the most powerful thing you do to create sales?
Some people might think this is hokey, but the most powerful thing I do is to simply ask my spiritual team to send clients my way. My belief is that we can learn 100,000 different “fashionable” business strategies (which seem to work today but not tomorrow or next year), but nothing is as powerful as asking the Universe to get involved.
While I disagree with the word “manifestation” and don’t promote Law of Attraction, I have learned to open up the space to my spiritual team for co-creation.
Sales Alchemy is the name of the tool I use myself and give to my clients. The other day, I had a look at what I intended in March and to my surprise, everything I wrote down came to pass. Recently, I also wanted to do a $15,000 deal and a $50,000 deal and the doors to those opportunities opened within days, without me even trying. Everyone has their own method of creating opportunities, but mine seems to be simply writing it down.
12. Do I need dedicated office space?
The more fitting question is, do you need dedicated creative space, and the answer is yes, of course! You can do office stuff from anywhere – the kitchen counter, your bathroom, your bed, on the living room floor. But get a dedicated creative space where you can be alone, go within, incubate and dream up ideas. So in that sense, maybe your creative space is an office or at a desk. Or, maybe it’s at the park or on the hammock in your backyard.
13. Do I need dedicated office hours?
Everyone’s level of creativity, discipline, energy and personality is different. My advice is to always design your day in alignment with those 4 things about yourself. For example, I’m not a morning person. I would never have a sales call or client call before 2pm. The later it gets, the more energy I have. I reserve sales and creativity for the early evening to late evening when my energy is at its peak. In my old days, sales were done over dinner and often over drinks after dinner that can go well past midnight.
Bottom line is: if your clients, prospects and vendors are answering phones between 9 to 5, then you kinda need to be working when they are. But nothing says you can’t do your admin during those times and schedule creative time outside of those hours.
If it’s not impacting your business, the schedule you keep is not a big deal. What’s a bigger deal is that you keep your promises to yourself and do what you say you’re gonna do. If you do that always / most of the time, then having dedicated office hours is negotiable.
14. Do I need to have a creative ritual before I sit down to write copy or create?
The best thing you can do for your creativity is to zone out the days before you sit down to create. Spacing out is your subconscious working on organizing your ideas, so that when you sit down to create, it outpours in succession and in flow. Let your mind work on it in the background while you go do something else.
15. People say I need to charge what I’m worth and own my value, but how do I know what my value is?
Here’s the thing: Pricing is not really about the price. Pricing is almost always about the value.
What is value? Value is perception. It means you get to declare what your value is, based on how you see yourself.
Value is subjective. A $5,000 handbag to one person may have little value, while a $5 keychain may mean the world to that person.
How do you determine your value? Value comes down to how much you trust your own work. The more you trust the quality of your work, the higher the price you’ll feel comfortable charging. And clients will only trust your value if you trust it yourself.
So if you want to own your value, start trusting in the quality of your work. Start honing and mastering your craft. Start expanding on what you promise to people. Start staking your reputation on what you do for others. That’s how you actively create your worth.
Hi, I’m Ana Coeur
I teach entrepreneurs how to create their business straight from their soul. I offer a complete Intuitive Business Suite to help you create, design, write and sell all from your intuition. Here’s the services you can take advantage of to empower your business: Intuitive Web & Brand Design, Intuitive Copywriting and Intuitive Selling. If there’s anything I can help you with, I would love to hear about it! You may email me at anaintuitivepicture.com
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