Best Twitter Accounts for Marketing, Entrepreneurs, Social Media, Authors, Podcasters and Startups

Best #Twitter Accounts for Marketing, Entrepreneurs, Social Media, Authors, Podcasters and Startups

This is my own list of the top Twitter accounts that I follow. There are some pretty stringent criteria that I use to include someone including:

  • Is it the person-person who monitors or answers
  • Do they share great stuff
  • Are they really using Twitter or is their feed full of just Facebook reposts

Now you might be asking me why I would have such a list and there is are a couple of really good reasons.

IMFs – First off, I like being able to easily sort through people on Twitter so I make lists like my IMF list. These are the people who I think are particularly interesting and I want to keep up with what they are sharing and help them get greater reach by retweeting their stuff!

Twitter Ads – The next reason for the lists is that I like to do a bit of Twitter Ads marketing and oftentimes the way to get the best results is to use the “following a certain user” feature. I can tell you that for me, a really good one to include in my list is Mr. 2Morrowknight who has a really big account and who seems to really be involved in working it!

I like these guys and gals. – Last but not least, I really do like being connected and seeing what these hip cats are up to! They all bring a little bit different perspective and I find that I learn something new from what they post!

PS – If I included your #Twitter handle on the list and you would like to be excused, please just email me and let me know tara (at) marketingartfully.com. If you are going to leave a spammy comment hoping that I include your handle on the list, don’t bother. I have basically abandoned the comments section because it is so icky a place to try and slog through!

Marketing

@2morrowknight – Keynote Speaker, #GivingTuesday Ambassador | Bestselling Author: The Road to Social Media Success http://bit.ly/SuccessInSocial | http://linkd.in/1tCkBa7

@adage – Ad Age is the leading global source of news, intelligence and conversation for marketing and media communities.

@AndreaVahl – Co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies. Creator of @GrandmaMaryShow. Improv comedienne and wine drinker.

@buffer – Buffer helps you share to Twitter, Facebook and more. We’re a team of 29 spread all across the world. Oh and we’re hiring, too! http://jobs.bufferapp.com

@chrisspooner – The guy behind http://Blog.SpoonGraphics.co.uk, I like designing, blogging and making pretty pictures

@ClayCollins – Co-Founder of http://www.LeadPages.net

@CMIContent – Content Marketing Institute, CCO Magazine, Content Marketing World in #Cleveland 9/8-11, 2015! #CMWorld Twitter chats Tues 12pm ET. Tweets by @MoninaW.

@cspenn – VP Marketing Technology @shiftcomm, ninja, Marketing Over Coffee cohost, speaker, Buddhist. More: http://cspenn.com/w Latest book: http://marketingbluebelt.com

@derekhalpern – Investor & Founder of Social Triggers, which reaches more than 400,000 entrepreneurs each month. I’m 99% useless, but that 1% when I’m not, I’m dangerous.

@JohnAguiar – I Help Bloggers, Entrepreneurs To Use Blog Marketing, Twitter Marketing, Social Media. Kidney Transplant Rec – #6 Forbes Top Social Media Power Influencers 2013

@JoePolish – Expert marketer for entrepreneurs and small business owners; Genius behind Piranha Marketing; and Joe has some VERY cool friends.

@justcreative – Graphic Designer, Logo Designer, Web Designer, Blogger, Creative Thinker, Social Media Nut, Freelancer, Link Sharer.

@lilachbullock – Co-Founder of @CommsAxis with @danpurvis. #Digital #marketing, #socialmedia & #content agency. Get in touch today! Proud mum. #Zumba

@MarketingProfs – Head of Content here at ‘Profs. I’m waging a war on mediocrity in content. http://www.annhandley.com

@randizuckerberg – Founder @ZuckMedia Agency. Speaker. Investor. Radio Host @SiriusXM. Broadway Actress/Producer. Author @DotComplicated & Dot. Formerly Marketing @Facebook. Mom.

@RebekahRadice – #SocialMedia, Digital Marketing, Author, Keynote Speaker, Co-Founder @Imagine_WOW @eSocialSuccess | Coffee addict, sunshine lover & nuts about my 2 pups!

@SalesWhisperer – Marketing Automation Guru | Sales Trainer | Keynote Speaker | The Sales Podcast | Author | Copywriter | Infusionsoft-HubSpot-Ontraport | http://BestCRMHelp.com

@TARAdactyl – #Marketing Coach, CEO Marketing Artfully, Bestselling Amazon Author & Speaker http://MarketingArtfully.com (this is me!)

@WarrenWhitlock – Forbes Power Influencer, Hacker, Futurist, Radio Host, Author, Speaker, Blogger and Friend

Entrepreneurs

@AliBrown – Entrepreneur, mentor, angel investor (and mom of twins!) helping women around the world step into redefined business leadership

@BarbaraCorcoran – Shark Tank, entrepreneurs, motivation, business, real estate. Today Show, GMA.

@brianclark – Founder: http://copyblogger.com , Host: http://rainmaker.fm , Curator: http://further.net .

@businessinsider – What you need to know.

@chrisbrogan – NYT Bestselling author & leading authority on owning the game you most want to win. Courses: http://OwnerMag.com/store . contact: http://chrisbrogan.com/contact

@garyvee – Family 1st! but after that, Businessman. CEO of @vaynermedia. Host of #AskGaryVee show and a dude who Loves the Hustle, @Winelibrary & the @NYJets

@JillianMichaels

@MarshaCollier – Author 48 books: Social Media Commerce, eBay, Online Customer Service. Forbes Top 10 Influencer, Futurist, GigaOMAnalyst, Founder #CustServ chat #techradio host

@marieforleo – I’m here to help you make a difference & be your happiest, wisest & most loving self. Want to be sure to reach me? Write info at http://marieforleo.com XO.

@mcuban – Cyber Dust ID: blogmaverick

@MichaelHyatt – Author of New York Times bestseller, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. Founder of Platform University and Best Year Ever.

@michaelport – father, friend, lover, revolutionary, big thinker… and best selling author

@richardbranson – Tie-loathing adventurer, philanthropist & troublemaker, who believes in turning ideas into reality. Otherwise known as Dr Yes at @virgin!

@travisk – Uber CEO. Serial entrepreneur.

Interesting

@BlairReeves – Building at @Demandware. Ex-IBMer. Marketer, PM, developer. Blogger on ecommerce and marketing tech. Also my jam: economics, global development, biscuits.

@craignewmark – customer service rep & founder for craigslist & craigconnects. Media inquiries please email: press@craigconnects.org.

@jack

@jonathanfields – Dad, husband, maker, entrepreneur. Fueled by possibility and dark chocolate. Founder of http://www.goodlifeproject.com .

@loic – enjoying every minute.

@pmarca – ‘Andreessen is the quintessential guy who is wrong with corporate America…Hard to hear, talks with a squeaky voice that only a dog can understand.’–Carl Icahn

@sgblank – Customer Development & Secret History, Teaching at Stanford, Berkeley and Columbia

Social Media

@AmyPorterfield – I’ll show you exactly how to monetize your online marketing efforts and grow your social media fan base, grow your email list and boost your profits.

@debsylee – International Social Media Advisor, Speaker • C-Suite Twitter Mentor • Forbes Global Influencer • HuffPost Blogger • Powered by lipstick, yoga and rugby

@Dede_Watson – ✭ Social Media Strategist, FORBES Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer ✭ Personal Brand Builder #Entertainment #Media @chelseakrost @JNSantaniello

@Don_Crowther – Social media and online marketer, consultant and speaker. Founder and creator of 3XSocial & Social Profit Formula http://3XSocial.com

@equalman – The Tony Robbins of Tech

@jeffbullas – CHIEF EVANGELIST-SHUTTLEROCK Social Media Marketing Strategist & Speaker,Forbes Top 50 Social Media Influencer,Huffington Post Top 100 Business Twitter Accounts

@joelcomm – Author of 9 Books, Keynote Speaker, Corporate & Small Business Consultant, Brand Ambassador, Wannabe Comedian

@kimgarst – Social Selling Pro, Best Selling Author, Keynote Speaker, CEO, @Forbes Top 10 Social Media Influencer, @HuffPostBiz Contributor. Loves God, family & hockey!

@LinkedInQueen – Eve Mayer is CEO of Social Media Delivered. Author of The Social Media Business Equation and Get It Girl Guide to Online Dating. Professional Speaker & Humorist

@lorirtaylor – When it comes to your brand, decaf just won’t cut it. Tweets by Team Caffeine. Visit us for more #Blogging #SocialMedia and #Marketing tips.

@loriruff – Chief Brand Evangelist @ALPFANational Advocating Transformative Change ★ Forbes Top 50 Influencer #SocialMediaMarketing ★ #GreatContent #RockTheWorld w/LinkedIn

@MariSmith – Social Media Thought Leader | LOVE Facebook Marketing! | Globe-trotting Speaker | Author | ‘Mari like Ferrari’ ➤ Meet me in San Diego! http://bit.ly/SMMW15SD

@MelanieDuncan7 – A serial entrepreneuress, and Pinterest marketing expert, I now teach others how to grow their online businesses.

@Mike_Stelzner – Founded Social Media Examiner @smexaminer, host of Social Media Marketing podcast, authored Launch & Writing White Papers. Committed Christian and dad.

@SueBZimmerman – U eat drink & breathe? I launch businesses | Branding Online Media | @CreativeLive Instructor | Hashtag Expert | Creator of Insta-Results

@sacca – Married to @crystale, dad to @CCEleven & @CircaLuna, investor in @Twitter, @Uber, @Instagram, @kickstarter & other startups. Learn more: http://lowercasecapital.com/.

@tedcoine – CMO of https://meddle.it . Co-Author of A World Gone Social. Forbes Top 20 Influencer. Inc Top 100 Leader & Speaker. #leadership

@TedRubin – ‘Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass… it’s about learning to dance in the rain.’ :-) http://www.rebelmouse.com/TedRubin

Author Marketing

@alaindebotton – Take a look at: http://www.youtube.com/theschooloflifetv …

@ChuckWendig – Campbell-nominated author of: BLACKBIRDS, UNDER THE EMPYREAN SKY, BLUE BLAZES, more. Writer of film, comics, games. Keeper of terribleminds. NSFW. Likely NSFL.

@dduane – 30+ years in print, 50+ novels, assorted TV/movies, NYT Bestseller List a few times, blah blah blah. Also: #YoungWizards 1983-2016 and beyond.

@DeanWesleySmith – Professional Writer of over 100 Novels

@HarlanCoben – Author. Details at http://HarlanCoben.com . I came up with that website name on my own. I’ll wait for the applause to die down.

@hughhowey – Author. Photographer. Reader.

@jamesscottbell – Award winning thriller writer, and #1 bestselling writing coach. The Suspense Never Rests™

@jasonpinter – Founder and Publisher of @PolisBooks. Bestselling writer. Book lover. New Yorker. Email: jpinter (at) polisbooks (dot) com.

@jchutchins – Wordherder. Sometimes for hire. | The 33: http://The33.net | Freelance portfolio: http://bit.ly/jcworks | Novels: http://bit.ly/jc-fiction

@JLichtenberg – SF/Fantasy/Romance/Paranormal writer in HC, MM, Trade, e-Book, Audiobook. Writer, Editor, Reviewer, Screenwriter http://jacquelinelichtenberg.com

@JoeFinder – Dad, husband, NYT bestselling thriller writer, Red Sox fan, Bostonian, Land Rover Defender driver, tomato farmer, owned by Golden Retriever Love Dog

@JoeMoore_writer – #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of THE PHOENIX APOSTLES, THE GRAIL CONSPIRACY, THE LAST SECRET, THE HADES PROJECT, THE 731 LEGACY, THE BLADE and THE SHIELD

@JohnnyBTruant – Speaker & Best Selling Author of over 2 million words (http://is.gd/UuJWsZ ) Host of http://SelfPublishingPodcast.com & http://BetterOffUndeadShow.com

@KristineRusch – award-winning bestselling writer under Rusch, Nelscott, Grayson & a few other names

@neilhimself – will eventually grow up and get a real job. Until then, will keep making things up and writing them down.

@NickThacker – Author of thrillers: http://www.nickthacker.com . Optimize your writing, life, and productivity: http://www.writehacked.com

@Oatmeal – I make comics.

@SeanPlatt – Publisher, entrepreneur, co-author of Write. Publish. Repeat. I write awesome books. People like them. Try one for free: https://sterlingandstone.net/become-a-starter/ …

@Shteyngart – Gary Shteyngart is a book writer.

@thecreativepenn – NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Thriller Author http://www.JFPenn.com . Professional speaker. Entrepreneur. INFJ

@TinaGerow – Multi-published author as both Tina Gerow and Cassie Ryan. Speaker, eBook enthusiast, lover of the written word.

@WarrenAdler – OFFICIAL Warren Adler, world-renowned novelist (The War of the Roses), playwright and digital publishing pioneer.

@wilw – I’m just this guy, you know?

Podcasters

@chrisducker – Author of #1 Bestseller ‘Virtual Freedom’, Founder of @VStaffFinder. Serial Entrepreneur, Speaker, Blogger & Podcaster!

@gjhickman – In love with mobile marketing & helping others grow their business. Founder Mobile Marketing Engine @mobilemixed

@jaybaer – NY Times best selling author, business strategist, keynote speaker. President of @Convince – A strategy consulting firm.

@johnleedumas – EntrepreneurOnFire: Awarded Best in iTunes: http://EOFire.com/itunes/ Ready to start YOUR Podcast? http://FreePodcastCourse.com

@katiekrimitsos – Founder of the Biz Women Rock Podcast & Community & COO of the Tampa Bay Business Owners. Totally obsessed with all things Business and making global impact!

@LewisHowes – Lifestyle Entrepreneur. Former pro athlete & 2 sport All-American. Write books + dirty salsa dancer. USA National Team Handball athlete.

@PatFlynn – Lead by example. Be honest. Hold nothing back.

@RSPPodcast – I interview top self-published authors to find out how they made it, so you can do the same. Audio podcast every Thursday.

@TheRealSBBM – The home of Australia’s #1 #marketing #podcast for #small #business owners. Got a marketing question? Send a voicemail thru my website.

@TimboReid – Marketing speaker & host of Australia’s #1 business podcast. Chasing the world’s best coffee and Dad joke. What have ya got?

@TimThePaige – Husband and dad. Podcaster at ConversionCast. Conversion Educator at LeadPages. Voice Artist, Bearded guy. Diehard Cuse fan.

Startup

@bfeld – I’m a VC at Foundry Group. I live in Boulder, Colorado, invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons, and read a lot.

@biz – Co-founder of Twitter, Co-founder and CEO of Jelly Industries.

@cdixon – programming, philosophy, history, internet, startups, investing

@ericknopf – Highly caffeinated lover of entrepreneurship & startups. Father, Believer and Co-founder of @Webconnex. My passion is not being bored.

@jamesjoaquin – Co-founder at Obvious Ventures (former CEO @ Xmarks, Xoom, Ofoto)

@joshk – VC. Father. Geek

@mattjackrob – Co-founder of GoCardless. Sharing my experiences of starting a company. Also found at https://medium.com/@mattjackrob

@msuster – 2x entrepreneur. Sold both companies (last to http://salesforce.com ). Now @UpfrontVC looking to invest in passionate entrepreneurs

@sir – Founder/CEO @MakeSpace | First Entrepreneur in Residence @UpfrontVC

Okay, those are my very top recommendations for best Twitter accounts for marketing, entrepreneurs, social media, authors, podcasters and startups. If you have someone I missed and who will enrich my marketing life…PLEASE let me know!

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead


Startup Marketing – How To Rock Your Marketing…Like A Girl Scout?

Startup Marketing - How To Rock Your Marketing... Like A Girl Scout?

If you are looking for some great startup marketing tips, look no further…find out how to market like a Girl Scout and skyrocket your sales!!

Starting Up A Girl Scout Cookie Business

So my daughter is a Girl Scout now and we were super excited to get to be part of selling cookies! But what I didn’t realize at the time was how cool it would be to be able to take a look back at the start of a business and see ways that we could do marketing without any big networks or huge marketing budgets. Here is quick overview of some of the things that we are doing (thanks to Gary Vaynerchuk who graciously said I could use his video!)

Clouds and Dirt

So Gary’s advice was to go “clouds and dirt”, meaning try for viral online and then feet on the street! I think that we have accomplished this with our multi-pronged approach to selling. Here are some of the ways that we have been marketing the cookies with comparable ways you could do this for your startup!

Video Marketing

Every one of you is carrying around a high definition movie camera. We did one-on-one videos that we just texted to potential customers. If you are doing this for your business, I would definitely go through your contact list and see if there there is anyone who expressed an interest in your product or service and who might well buy if sent a personal message from you!

Another way you could this is to contact the “connectors” in your personal life…you know those people who seem like they know everyone. You could tell them a tiny bit about your business and offer to take them to lunch.

It is funny, our brains are wired to think we “saw” someone when we watch a video or see them in a photograph. Whether they answer your text back or not, I guarantee that they will notice that you sent them a video!

Don’t Try To Make Your Own Technology

Unless you are starting a tech company, DO NOT under any circumstances try to “develop an app” or do anything crazy out of the gate technology-wise. Without a critical mass of people who even know you exist, it is a waste of time to try to build the biggest website or the grandest Facebook contest ever.

We used the website the Girl Scouts gave us because the order form and delivery were built right in. Now, I do recommend that legitimate companies use a self-hosted WordPress website, but I honestly can’t tell you how many times a business owner has come to me with a tiny budget and said they want to build Amazon.

First off, there is already an Amazon so unless you have DEEP pockets, sell your stuff there or on Ebay or Etsy instead. Second off, I love the process of building a bit of your empire and then making sure there is a need in the marketplace and then doing that again (LeadPages’ CEO Clay Collins did this brilliantly and he WAS a tech company!)

Girl Scout Website

See it live Desy’s Girl Scout Cookie Site

Social Media

So I feel like Social Media was the least effective way of selling cookies. While we did hook up with some out of town people, there were not crazy orders coming in from Facebook or Twitter that were not people who weren’t already following along with our lives.

I think that there would be a chance that I could try to “go viral” with some of the people that I know, but because this is so personal to me, I just reached out either with a Desy video or even an email from me, rather than blasting “buy my cookies, buy my cookies” over an over again on Facebook or Twitter.

That said, we got some fun shares!

Facebook Girl Scouts

Old School Marketing

What was effective for selling cookies was getting out in the community and talking to strangers. Here are my top A-ha moments from our travels…

1. You have to brand yourself. Once we got Desy a Girl Scout vest, we made sure she wore it whenever we left the house. At Michaels Craft store we sold two boxes to a lady passing by and in the beauty parlor we sold $44 worth of cookies to the hair gals who asked Des if she was selling cookies. In the real world you need to make sure people can tell by looking at you what you do. This can be by wearing a t-shirt with your logo, having a nametag or even wearing a branded hat.

Door Knocking - Girl Scout Cookies

We also put car signs on our Jeep. This is a great way to let people know what you do! Bonus points if you put your picture on your car signs!

Girl Scout Cookie Car Signs

As a startup, you need to be ready to take advantage of every opportunity that comes along when someone notices what you do.

2. Sell an established product. I have talked to A LOT of people who want to find something super new and innovative to sell. They want to “create the market” and “dominate a new industry”. I am here to tell you that selling something that is widely recognized takes a lot of sting out of the sales process.

Now I do think you should niche down as far as possible in your industry, but don’t try to make your products and services sound so new and weird. Give people a framework for understanding what you do and then you can differentiate yourself with your own key benefits.

3. Don’t be afraid to show up. We signed up for the cookie booth table, even though we knew those sales would be a small percentage of our actual numbers. That said, Desy gained the camaraderie of being with her new troop members and got a chance to see a bunch of real time reactions to her pitch.

For startups this could mean attending trade shows or going to networking. Sales is great and fun, but until you tell lots of people about what you actually do or sell, it is hard to gauge how well the marketing place is receiving it.

Cookie Booth - Girl Scouts

4. Have handouts. It is great to have a business card to give people, but most times there is no “what’s in it for me” factor to that. If you are going to take the time to door knock, network or meet people, please make sure that you have some sort of “leave-behind” in case they don’t buy right away.

Girl Scout Cookie Flyer

Asking for the sale

One of the things that I am super proud of is that Desy is not afraid to ask if you would like to buy Girl Scout cookies. As a business owner, you need to be brave like Desy and ask people if they would like to buy your product or service.

The first few times it might be scary, but after that it gets easier and you will sell A LOT more!

PS – If you would like order Girl Scout Cookies, check out Deslynn’s site >> here <<

Now That You Have A Business Strategy, You Need A Marketing Plan

Now That You Have A Business Strategy, You Need A Marketing Plan

So I was lifting my skirt a little bit last week when I was talking about my Business Strategy, Motivation and Everything Falling Apart (if you are going to be playing along today, it might worth it to check out that one first).

In a nutshell, I sat down and really focused on what three areas of my business would most fit my life now and have firmly decided on:

  • Affiliate Sales
  • One-On-One Coaching
  • Clients (SMM)

These are my business strategy for the rest of this year. Whoo whoo! How freeing. If it is something else that is shiney and pretty, it has to wait a while to get my attention.

Is This A New Business Strategy?

I was talking with a potential coaching client the other day and he was a little surprised that I wasn’t going to try and tell him all different kinds of new things that he could do to market his business. Instead we looked at what he was already doing and just restructured his efforts.

“Tara Jacobsen and Marketing Artfully were exactly the punch in the face I needed to get me focused on what’s really important for my authority-based business. I didn’t even know I had an authority-based business, until Tara showed it to me. Now I have direction and (way more important) a kick-butt strategy for moving fast toward my goals. I’m a raving fan.”

Me going through this process is the same. I had to really sit down and take a look at all the things that I have right now and how they will fit into my goals and lifestyle.

If you are playing along at home, mostly you don’t have to look beyond what you are already doing, you just need to either focus all your bits at one target or cut out the bits that not helping you get where you want to go!

A Marketing Plan

If you are reading this post, there is a good chance you at least sort of like marketing! Well I am here to tell you that I don’t just like marketing, I LOVE IT! And because of that, there are so many things I COULD do marketing wise that I am drowning in possibilities.

But worse than that, I am spending all my time feeling guilty that I am not doing everything I have heard about and doing it well. So now I am back to the notecards…

Business Strategy and Marketing Plan

Okay, I have three pages of “could dos” (I am a marketing junky…don’t judge me!)

These include:

  • blog posts daily
  • blog posts 3X per week
  • keyword videos
  • podcast
  • free webinars (selling?)
  • paid webinars
  • stickers – inlinkz
  • stickers – sales page
  • ebooks – amazon ads
  • ebooks – evernote banners
  • meet edgar
  • download pictures daily
  • quote graphics daily
  • quote graphics 3X per week
  • social media – twitter
  • social media – facebook
  • social media – pinterest
  • get 50K visitors month to blog
  • email – fix autoresponders
  • email – lead boxes resources
  • infusionsoft quiz
  • paid newsletter
  • update social media with new info
  • writing linkedin posts
  • writing medium posts
  • daily short videos
  • book promotion videos
  • IMF – making friends
  • get 50K twitter followers
  • twitter ads
  • funny mail
  • creative do dads
  • half postcards
  • direct mailings (to who?)
  • daily instagram pictures
  • tweek website
  • fix about us page

Nothing But Time

If I had 100 hours in a day, I would love to do most of those things (just having them all in one place let me see that there are a couple I wouldn’t want to do anyways). So my next step is to make a “perfect week” or “perfect month” calendar that will show exactly how much time I have to do all these wonderful things.

Carlendaring & Marketing Planning

So there is a basic layout of my week. I have left some a little wiggle-room time (the fabulous Chris Brogan says to leave 40% but I am a bit tighter than that. So functionally it looks like I can have 2 coaching clients a week for a total of 12-ish monthly right now (I am at at 8 and closing my doors soon). When I turn over the SPP social media guys I can add some more coaching clients, but sort of glad that I have a 6 week runway for getting this started.

For you it might look differently. You might be a night owl who can do their blog posts after everyone has gone to bed or you might not have as much time tied up in client work.

Whatever you do decide, you cannot add more hours in a day. I think that is the biggest mistake I see people make. They have all these great plans and schemes, but then cannot implement because there is no time to do everything they have committed to.

The Marketing Plan Details

Okay, we are down here where the rubber meets the road now! It is great that I have all the big areas filled up, but what is going to go into the blog parts, videos and podcast content. What should I do in my foundation work blocks.

I am a super nut about having checklists so I made myself a worksheet that will show EXACTLY the tasks that I have to get done each day. Because I have thought them out carefully and said that THESE are the things that matter, I feel confident that I will be able to get at 75% of them accomplished weekly.

Wait a second…what did I just say? That I would not commit myself to doing 110%? I am as dedicated as the next gal and work my face off, but have also learned over the years that a great plan executed well will make much more of a difference than a perfect plan abandoned because of ridiculous expectations.

Instead of thinking like a drill sergeant, I like to be a little kinder to myself and go with the old Alcoholics Anonymous model, know what your goal is and then take one day at a time. If I miss a day, all is not lost. I pick myself off, stop with the horrible self talk, dust myself off and win the next day instead!

So there you have it! My mini business strategy and marketing plan seminar, all in two posts! If this helped at all, please email me at tara (at) marketingartfully.com and let me know. I love hearing success stories!!

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead


Business Strategy, Motivation and Everything Falling Apart

Business Strategy, Motivation and Everything Falling ApartToday’s post is a little different… instead of talking about what we could do as marketers, I wanted to share a little bit about what I am doing and how it is making me a better business person, Mom and money maker.

The Back Story

So I have been in business for myself for a long time. About 15 years ago my dream job with the perfect boss got sold to another company and I was on the streets. My future husband at the time was okay with me starting my own business and so I set out to do SEO and make websites. That was mildly successful, then I contracted to a manufacturing company, had a couple of jobs over the years when times were tight and we needed stupid things like insurance and say a steady income.

A dip into real estate told me that I was good at it but definitely did not love the day-to-day problems that come with being a Realtor so I went back to my first love, marketing and we have been together ever since.

Now, over the years I have tried lots of different business models, services, products and other things to make money and have been 6 figures successful, but with a lot of work and lots of expenses. But that was okay. It was just Johnny and I and I could spend a weekend working if I wanted to!

Enter the kids! We were fortunate to adopt three kids and boy did everything get turned upside down! Instead of all the time in the world, now I had to guard every second religiously. I started some amazing and fun things that I couldn’t keep up because they took time away from what I had to focus on right now, family and getting it all together.

Flailing Around

So I coach a lot of entrepreneurs and none of them will be surprised to learn that from time it is easy to get off track, running down too many roads or not being crystal clear about what will work so you are doing a bunch of “stuff” and getting nowhere.

That is how I have felt for a little while. I have been doing four or five different things okay-ish but with no real strong center and goal. I have “tried” some things and seen some results but have definitely dabbled around without a clear goal.

Then I had a opportunity present itself. I could spend some time with a person who would be able to really help move my business forward, but what the hell would I tell him I do? Would I sit there with the list of all my little bits and be just frozen? Hell no! I needed to get a business strategy in place…:)

Time Management - What I Could Do

So I drank my own Koolaid. I had an offsite meeting with myself and sat down to write all the things that I could or was currently doing. I measured 4 metrics…

Smiley, straight or sad. Did doing that work make me happy (smiley face), not bother me or neutral (straight face) or sad (frowny face). Now I had done this with tasks before and I am pretty good with what I like to do and what I am good at, but this was deeper. It went more to the heart of what I wanted to do with my next five years or so.

Stars. The next thing I did was to assign stars to the tasks and see which things I felt innately good at doing. This was between no stars (meaning I suck at it), one half a star (meaning I can do it but it is not an innate skill) and a whole star (I am great at it!).

Money. Next came whether doing something would cost money or make money. Now some of the things will cost money to ultimately make money like doing Pinterest marketing, but for this little bit I just wanted to know if it was a good money maker or not.

Time. Last, and maybe most important to me, was time. Would it take a lot of time or a little to time to implement the idea, product or sales channel.

Now doing this process was not fun. I had to take my own personal biases for what I thought I liked to do and set them aside and try to be sure to focus only on my actual feelings and interest in things. Seeing them all together helped too. If something was not a happy face, made little money and took time to figure out, well that got put WAY back on the list of things that I had to worry about.

Based on this list and the things that I like to do, I have come up with my Three Squares of focus (that is from my coaching program, it just means the three business things that I am going to focus on)…

  • Social Media Clients – I have clients currently and love them, but I will not be prospecting for any new ones.
  • Selling Affiliate Products – I have done this in the past in dribs and drabs but will now have it as a focus.
  • One-On-One Coaching – Now this isn’t the most money around, but it is good for me time-wise and it is a total “I like it” and “I am good at it” kind of thing.

Bah ha! I am good right? I can just head off into the sunset and start working…..NOPE!

Now I have to break down the things that I will do to support that in another round of happy, sad, etc. These would include things like making videos, writing blog posts, etc. that I can do to support my two main areas of focus.

Once I have that done, I can schedule my time to make those things a priority and jettison all the rest.

Why This Makes Me So Happy

So as we draw to a close, I just want to let you know why this warms the cockles of my heart. First off, I have the ability to control my work time. The things I chose can be scheduled around when I CAN work rather than when I have to work. I can do a blog post at 5AM if the house is quiet and do posting for my clients mid-morning when I am not as on it.

I can also control my income more because instead of gathering up all the little crumbs and bits, I can focus on doing things that feed into the sales funnels for just those two areas of my business.

I can plan tasks. The one thing that scares us entrepreneurs more than anything else is boredom, so fortunately I am not going to be bored. I can create a hierarchy of things to do easily based on how well or how poorly they support my efforts in just those two areas.

Some of the famLast but not least, I feel like I can go talk to the knowledgable person without looking like an insane disorganized mess. Honestly, my business wasn’t such a mess, it was how I FELT about what I was doing that was the problem. I mostly work with super successful people like myself who are great at doing things and less good at understanding why we do them or channeling energy into the right places to maximize success!

I hope a peek into my world helps you to get a grip on your business strategy! That process of sitting down and taking an inventory is super effective and helpful. Please let me know if you need help, I have a great small business coaching program that will help walk you through some these kinds of focusing exercises.

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead


Small Business Coaching and Motivation

How To Create An Amazing Valentine’s Day Marketing Campaign

How To Create An Amazing Valentine's Day Marketing CampaignToday we are going to talk about creating a super fun and friendly marketing campaign for Valentine’s Day. Because this is primarily for business owners, we will be focusing on clean themes and steering away from more romantic or racy campaigns that might work better for other industries.

Valentines Day Marketing Campaigns

So I believe that every holiday is appropriate for every business to use for marketing. For example, you would think selling coaching or affiliate products would match up with Valentine’s Day, but I know a good portion of my target market might be looking for some Valentine’s Day ideas so writing this post was a no brainer for me. Try to think of something in your business like this that would match the holiday.

Themes

Wow, I am not sure that I have ever written a more perfect segue to a section. As long as you have a theme to your advertising campaign, it will seem right and there will be little chance that anyone will ever be offended. Some that come to mind include:

  • For an insurance agent – love them enough to buy protection for their future
  • For a veterinarian – if you love your pets, make sure you get them neutered or spade
  • For a makeup artist – fall in love with your face, get the latest color combination

Mostly you just need to make sure that you are pulling in a reason for marketing during the season. This is not just a “Happy Valentine’s Day from the..”, this is crafting a whole marketing message around a theme that you will be rolling out over time.

For a local Denver Flower Shop and Florist, we did a series of graphics that showed a number of different themes like “she loves flowers and you love her” and “don’t get in the dog house”. They are graphic and clever enough that they will help to get noticed which will at the end of the day sell more flowers.

Don't Wind Up In The Dog House - Denver Florist Ad

Don't forget the flowers

She Loves You Valentines Day Ad

Because we carried the pink and the font across all the pieces, there is a consistency to the marketing campaign.

Imagery

I use BigStockPhoto.com so this is the selection that I got on the first page when searching for “hearts”.

Big Stock Photo Heart Search

It is interesting to note that in a sea of images, a couple of them stood out to me as ones that I might use for clients! Remember, whether you are using paid photography or searching for Creative Commons royalty free images, what you want is something that is memorable. This can happen a couple of ways.

Bright or clever – First off, you can pick something that is bright and will jump out of the crowd when you share it on social media like this image from big stock that would be great for my Green Cleaning Products gal. The heart is evident and she talks a lot about helping to keep the earth safer so this would be a no-brainer.

Big Stock Photo - Heart Hands

Where There Is Light - Advertising Banner

As you can see, we tried to make something that would be sharable and which could spread while still focusing on Rae Ann’s brand and including her Twitter handle.

On branding – For me the graphics I used in this post are very on target brand-wise for Marketing Artfully. I use a lot of illustrations and muted colors so the typewriter and heart fit perfectly with what I generally use!

Snazzy – Whether your marketing campaign is for print or online, using a bright, snazzy color will always make it “pop”. I have to say that I almost used this picture for this post, just because of how saturated the color of the red was.

Bigstock - hearts red

Bad contrast – Something to consider is how the photography can be so non-contrasty that it just fades into the background of all the other marketing noise. For example, this stone on sand is a cool image, buy you are going to have to spice it up with colored words or something else that contrasts for it to stand out anywhere.

Big Stock - Boring Heart

Channels

  • Graphics - We talked about imagery already, but you really can’t go wrong with playing up the cheese with a love quote saying paired with a great picture for sharing.
  • Blog Posts – Of course there are obvious ones like the Top 10 Gifts To Get Your Girlfriend For Valentines Day, but as a business owner you can also do a “10 Things To LOVE About Coaching This Valentine’s Day” or something equally obvious that can still reap rewards.
  • Contests – You could do a “Show Me Some Love” contest and ask people to share something in exchange for a copy of a signed book, a free coaching session or other great offer that has great value.
  • Love Video - A super fun thing to do is to record a video and send it out to your customer base wishing them a Happy Valentine’s Day and letting them know how much you love their business. If you cringe at this then don’t do it, but for some of you, this will come off as genuine, warm and caring.
  • Postcards – If you are mailing out a message, please make sure that you are attracting attention by using a red envelope or graphic, high contrast imagery on your mailing piece.
  • Print Advertising – Many local and regional papers and publications will have a special section for Valentines Day. If you are in an industry that sells dinners out, flowers, massages, etc. it might be worthwhile to research some of these options.

Conclusion

Of course this just scratches the surface of all the fun things you could do to make a marketing campaign around Valentine’s Day! But hopefully it does start getting your creative juices flowing for things that you could do to stand out and sell more on the day of love!

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead


How To Create An Amazing Valentines Day Marketing Campaign