As we enter the second phase of nationwide shelter at home orders, you might have noticed that, despite no commute, no office hours and fewer deadlines, it seems like you have even less time? Besides helping our kids with their homework or taking fun online classes, do you get the feeling you’re accomplishing less during the day?
We posted an article that goes into the reasons for that strange mindset and how to combat it. But even once you get your productivity back on board, you’ve lost some quantity of time. And when we do get back to any kind of normal, you may find yourself fighting to catch up.
In today’s economy, we’re all entrepreneurs of a sort, whether we set out to be that or not. Even as your small business grows, you find that you’re wearing more hats – or trying to – whether they fit or not.
Teaching is Our Passion
For years, here at Grow The Dream we’ve taught small business owners, tiny marketing teams and solopreneurs, how to get the biggest bang for their buck. Our main focus was teaching and helping our clients implement specific business strategies to reach their ideal customers.
But over time, we realized many of our clients lacked the time, skills or resources to fully implement the strategy. Everyone started out with good intentions and a well-designed program. But some of the largest elements of their strategy fell by the wayside, or was neglected, reducing its effectiveness.
While our custom strategies are never “one size fits all”, we saw a pattern among clients. Whether it was lack of confidence or not enough time or just failing to make it a priority, the consistency of their content blogs, or email blasts, or social media posts was the first thing to go.
The Needs of the Many
The one consistent factor that builds presence on Google and other search engines is content. Consistent content. We can tell you who to target, where to find them and what to say to bring the majority of your most valuable potential clients to your virtual doorstep. But if you just create that content, they might never find you.
Think about it. How many pages deep into the search engine results do you dig? We need to get you on the front page – above the fold, as they say.
So we began offering a secondary service to the clients that really needed it – content creation.
Our focus is still strategy – we don’t take on clients who aren’t willing to take the time to do the hard work. But for those who do the strategy, for an ongoing monthly fee, we create weekly content blogs. We apply the strategy to target what brings your best clients in – to your physical as well as online marketplace. We build specifically designed content to answer the questions they’re asking. As a result, your business gets the benefit of organic Google rankings. That means you don’t pay for the leads, and they tend to be higher value prospects.
Plus, every iteration of the Google algorithm for the past 20 years has given increased value to consistent sources of valuable information. If you’re of my vintage, you may recall the old button on search results to essentially up- or downvote each site, depending on whether or not it was actually what you were looking for. Google’s proprietary algorithm handles that now. Yes, it has gotten abused by some nefarious marketers. But the Alphabet engineers work tirelessly to minimize this – sometimes to the point of inaccurately predicting what “you’re really looking for.”
Regardless, consistent, well-written content, published on a regular basis – preferably weekly – builds search engine attention.
I mentioned earlier that some clients might have lacked confidence, and that perhaps certain hats don’t fit as well as we’d hoped. This is where our team approach shines.
Our team has some of the strongest, most experienced copywriters you can find. These are folks who have written for years – as journalists, grant writers, public relations experts and marketers. They have the uncanny ability to write in the voice of our clients’ companies. (We’ve even written emails and posts in a dog’s voice.) And because we involve them in the early stages of the strategy process, they know who to reach and how for each individual client.
They are fantastic at taking the client profiles, the specific targeted buyer personas and the goals of each client to tailor weekly posts – custom designed images and all. Our writers construct email blasts with calls to action that get answered. And they engage with the client’s potential customers on social media – in the social media channels where they’re found.
One of the biggest benefits of having our creative team on your side – we aren’t looking at your business with your eyes. Now, while that may appear to be counterintuitive, it’s not.
Our team isn’t mired in the day to day of your business, hearing the language, the jargon you use every day, the words and phrases that you know – but your potential clients often don’t. Because we’re focused on the ideal client profiles, we address those people where they are – in words that make sense to them.
What’s more, done well, the content on your site will educate the prospective buyer – and even eliminate the buyers you don’t want. Yes, there are potential buyers you do not want to spend time dealing with, and the right content will weed those out. It might even train them to be the buyer you do want. Did I mention we started out teaching?
Strategy That Doesn’t Stop
You know how difficult it is to keep up with the current trends in your industry. Now that we’re all online, it’s even harder – there are so many more sources, and not all of them are reliable. You need to sort the wheat from the chaff.
Now imagine doing that for your industry and the marketing world. Twice as much work – and you’re already finding yourself behind.
We keep track of the marketing world. We pay attention to the trends, the changes in the marketplace, the differing standards, the new social media platforms. Consider what it would cost to employ even an assistant to go through that on a regular basis. With Grow The Dream, it’s included in your monthly fee. We can afford it, because it’s spread over all our clients.
How About an Editor?
The Internet may seem like the wild, wild west, but it’s not as far as content goes. Proper journalistic style still has its place, even if some of the major newspapers appear to be neglecting it. Earlier this week, I found an instances where the LA Times and USA Today published typos in their professionally written and edited work. The Times corrected it within the hour, but it was already out there.
Each content blog we write is read, edited and fact-checked by another of our professional writer-editors. If necessary, rewrites or link fixes are done before the client even sees it, let alone the public.
And we never repost other people’s work or content found elsewhere. For starters, you’re paying for our work, and secondly, too many “news” outlets reprint items without verifying sources. That’s unethical and leads to issues. Nothing deteriorates a customer’s burgeoning trust more than finding out they’ve been essentially told a lie.
Measure Twice, Cut Once
You know what the biggest failure for most business’ strategies? No matter how well thought out or executed, a strategy is worthless unless you can measure the results. You know why you see Coca Cola on billboards, commercials, magazines, stores, on Nascar and sporting events, and, well everywhere?
Because Coke has gotten so big, they have NO IDEA where their customers come from. In the old days, they could track coupons and sales at the local soda stand. Today, anything could potentially trigger a thirst for their carbonated beverage – so they take a shotgun approach.
Budweiser does something similar, pulling and replacing ad campaigns as soon as sales dip even a little. Those companies can afford it. You can’t. You need to know that your marketing is working. And how well.
We track, and can provide, the data for traffic to every blog post, every social media blip, every search on Google – where you show up and why. And we can break down that data for you and your staff; explain what it means and adjust as needed.
We don’t even need you to see the problem. Our team is constantly looking at the numbers, trying to find new ways to maintain and build your company’s following. And it’s all part of the strategy we develop from the start.
Let Me Tell You a Story
Did you know Walt Disney had problems getting his films into theaters? In 1948, the Supreme Court made a decision that the studios who made the movies could not also own the theaters that showed the movies. Paramount, among other major players, would only play their own movies in their theaters.
Today we know Disney as a powerhouse, but after World War II, Walt was still managing a smaller independent studio. They didn’t own any theaters of their own, so the big boys shut him out. Including the very same 20th Century FOX studios Disney just bought out. After the Supreme Court decision, theaters had to bid on movies and agree to show them for a specified period of time.
In 2019, Disney released seven films that earned in excess of a billion dollars. They own six of the top ten movies for the year, including the number one for all time. Under Bob Iger, they bought Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and now FOX.
The reason for their success lies in their purchases. They bought the greatest stories and storytellers of our time.
When you add storytelling to your business strategy, your content becomes more unforgettable, useful, and meaningful to your audience. It doesn’t just rank on Google. It draws the customer in, builds trust and creates connection. Content without story will build your business. Content with story – that builds an empire.
The Post-Credit Scene
I’ve said a lot of impressive things about our company and our team. I’ve been blessed to know the folks at Grow The Dream for close to 15 years and to be a part of that team since 2016. I know they deliver on strategy, because I went through their classes back in the day. I used them to build my own business. But don’t take my word for it.
Grow The Dream built their business by focusing on small business clients and entrepreneurs. We love you and we speak your language. Our strategy from day one has been to deliver the best content, information, education and services for our clients.
If you’re finding us for the first time today, we’re glad you’re here. Reach out to us, and schedule an initial 20 minute sit down with our founder, David G. Johnson. Perhaps you’ve heard of Zig Ziglar? Well, David helped Zig and his son Tom build their marketing system. He knows his stuff and can get you on the right track for marketing – even if it’s not with our team.
If you’re one of our existing or past clients, and you’re watching the time fly by and the responsibilities pile up, let us lend a hand. We’ll review and update your current business strategy and make recommendations. Then we’ll launch into creating the content you need to take your business and grow it to the next level.
There’s one marketing axiom that stands the test of time – if you stand still (stop marketing), the world (your customers) will pass you by. Don’t stand still – let’s forge onward together. We look forward to speaking with you soon!