Monday, May 20, 2013

Get Your Business Story Out To Customers.

Changes in the way Google works now mean that it is more important than ever that your website is well set-up to meet their standards to be seen by Google as a worthwhile site for people searching for what you do. Every business needs this as a priority so your business can be found online through search. 

What Google Values

  • That means that it is comprehensive, that it is able to be viewed by mobile devices - Smartphones and tablets, as well as desktop computers.  
  • That the content relates to the topic and it is valuable for the reader.  
  • And that it is original.

It needs to be kept fresh - that is with new content added regularly.  Perhaps the easiest way to update information online for any business, is by using a blog to update and post articles and items of interest to your target customers.

Feeding Social Media

Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter can be great – but you still need something to post to them. Your blog can help you have content on hand to share on social as well as being content for your website.  And it supports other advertising that you might be doing, such as radio – because not everyone is online all day.  So a mix of your own information and curating (collecting and posting quality material of others that is a fit for your collection of information) other material on social media makes it easier to share articles, photos and things that are of interest to your customers.

Boost Offline Methods Too

Radio ads can be creating interest that the website and your online content can back up when the listener wants to know more… and moves from listening to seeking out your business.  NOTE: Make sure you also have product available to buy while they are on your website. Even a free product to download and checkout helps. A shopping facility will help push you to get creative with making buyable products!

So a blog can be useful but it needs to be done with some consideration as to what you might write about – how the writing is going to happen – who is going to write it is one issue – because not everyone is good at writing and many successful in business, may have trouble when it comes to sitting down in front of a computer and putting their thoughts down in a useful way. This can be improved or there other ways to accomplish this, but the information still has to be valid, and useful and written in the ‘tone’ of the business. It will communicate your values so it should be in line with your way of doing business.

Many businesses still don’t have a website, or they have a website that is poorly presented, lacks essential information, is not styled to be visually appealing and modern to meet expectations of customers and a great many are not compatible with mobile devices.  This is the first way to search for many people so cannot be stressed how critical it is to get this right.

But what to write about?

Your business has a story.  It’s important to work out what that compelling story is that your business has to tell customers about the things that interest them in your story.   We like a story but we love a story that has a benefit for us.   If you don’t make us aware of how we can be better off by knowing your story who will? Nobody.

Here's a great example of a new business bringing innovative approach to a pretty ordinary product. Meet Johnny Cupcakes and his fabulous T-shirts that have people lining up around the block. See Johnny Cupcake's story

Every business has a range of topics that are valuable for customers.  It may take some teasing out to come up with a good mix of categories for your business but spending the time to understand what customers care about at this stage will be rewarding in the long term.

Customers are well informed about prices and the usual information about products, but your expertise may mean that you have much more insight into the products that customers can’t find out any other way.

They also like to see who else they know knows you, and sharing your blog posts on social media means that your information can be shared far beyond the people who you know – and on to friends of friends.

Even customers and clients who know us for one field may not know the full extent of ways that we can help them.  A fresh and content rich website or blog can help educate and reveal new areas that they want to buy from us


Start An Ideas Book For Your Business 

Think about events that happened through the day and just make some notes about funny events, things you learned, problems that customers have that you see over and over again, and add these notes every day.

You just need to write enough so that you remember the point that you would share about these and these notes can act as a prompt for you when it comes to posting a new blog.

When it comes time to start blogging you will have good data to use, that comes from your own experience with customers that will help to inform the articles that you can write for your blog and publish online.

Related Posts

How To Set Goals - And Reach Them

The Dirty Secrets Business Needs To Know About Social Media

Why You Need To Build Your Mailing List And How To Do It

How To Get Your Local Business Found Online

Are you lousy at self promotion too? 

Like to discuss your business? Lindy Asimus Design Business Engineering Get Help For Your Business Download your free 24 Page Action Plan Marketing Workbook! Subscribe to Actionbites Blog

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What Do You Stand For?

Some years ago we had a news scandal about an unsavoury incident involving a football team on a tour to NZ  some years before which raised the topic of what is acceptable behaviour in sport, but more widely in the community. The reports have been revealed what is coyly described as ‘consensual sexual encounter’. Well so far as it was stated originally, the consent extended to the single man named and now paying some price for his now very  public infidelity, and his involvement in what turned out to be something other than a simple one night stand.

Specifically, it turned into something other than this, when eleven team mates and various hangers-on decided to get in on the act.

So far, the former player (the one with the consent  – from the 19 year old woman, if not his wife...) has taken the hit for the team. Well that’s the point is it not? Team bonding and all that means that the team is the thing and you don’t ‘rat’ on your mates. Where that fits insofar as the mates letting a team member take responsibility for their involvement to alone face the consequences, is however understandable it may be, cowardice. Were it the case that this man had in mind that the other members would enter the room then that would seriously compound his error and compromise his integrity even further. If he did not invite them in then it becomes even more shameful that they leave him alone to bear responsibility for their actions.

This specific case aside, it does beg the question ...What has happened to the standards that were once an easy measure for individuals to gauge their behaviour and actions? Where are the role models that will teach boys to be men of integrity? How does it come to pass that in this age of supposed enlightenment that women are still treated in this manner and more to the point, believe at some level that there is any reason to submit to such bullying? Consent? Really? Just supposing it were true the young woman did have poor judgement in this case, still yet that does not alter the fact that each and every man in that room had his own decision to make, and it would seem, each had little respect – or reason to have respect - for themselves, or anyone else in the team. Without question it is safe to assume that none of the men in that room would have been happy for their mother or sister to be treated the way that they treated that woman. So what possibly constituted the difference in their mind between she – and the women they would protect from such treatment in the normal course of events?

Beyond this sorry incident, is the broader question of what value we place on standing up and doing the right thing for the right reason. How different might this story have been had someone brought some positive leadership to the group.

In discussing this with a client this week, he related a story about travelling on an inter-city commuter train, packed with people just doing their best to endure the journey with as little friction as is possible in a train packed with commuters. A young man decided to inflict his loud opinions and blaring music on the rest of the passengers. One man requested that he be considerate and turn the music down. The youth returned the request with a hostile gesture. Minutes later the youth has moved down the aisle to where my client sat. He took this opportunity to upbraid him and let him know in no uncertain terms, that the passengers and he needed to be considerate one of the other and that his cooperation would make it a much better trip for all concerned. He motioned to the man who had asked for the music to be turned down, what he’d like to do with the music now. The man remained silent. Nobody on the train said a single thing to support him. Apparently then, all the passengers were consenting to being bullied.

In Australia we have had the notion of a fair go, and an expectation of reasonable behaviour as we live-and-let-live. Has that been a fantasy of the imagination? Has this really been worth nothing... or have we just turned our back on this concept as being worthy of keeping in our present age?

Does it really, not matter at all, how we behave to one another?

I for one, hope not.

As our society moves away from the two parent home, we see more and more children raised in homes without a male parent. The examples that the parents set, in what the children absorb about how relationships work, how people treat each other would seem to be changed now, compared to the past. Many things that would have been frowned upon, are now found to be commonplace. The old rules are thrown out, but what are the new rules?

We’re learning something now of what the former football team regards as reasonable behaviour. It isn’t pretty.

In America, many are fond of a question WWJD – What would Jesus Do.

My question to you, is What Would You Do?

What are the things for which you are prepared to stand up? Even when they are difficult.

Especially when they are difficult.

A quote to which I subscribe says:

“What I am is the result of all the choices I have made or allowed others to make for me. What I choose is what I am”

Choose well.

What do you think?

Lindy Asimus
Business Coach & Social Media Development
Design Business Engineering

Online Coaching Available All Locations!
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Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Passion Alone Is Not Enough

"Follow your passion"  "Make your passion your business"

Is common to see this suggested as a good thing to do.
But is it really good advice?

Some people like baking muffins so they think opening a restaurant might be a good move.
In reality, it could just be a good way to start to not like making muffins.

A better indicator for opening a restaurant might be if you can say –

  • I love serving people and
  • I’m good at finding ways to produce good quality food customers love
  • and that makes me good profit.
  • And - I am passionate about following budgets and know how to plan meals without waste.
  • And - I like working long hours, 7 days a week and
  • I don’t mind not making a lot of money.

If  you want your passion for muffins to be your business then you might test that out by working out...
  • How many muffins you need to make to cover the rent and the expenses and your wages and start making profit. And you know  
  • How  you can sell that number of muffins to make enough money to pay those expenses and make you lots of profit.  
  • And that you are content to make muffins, market muffins, sell muffins and live and breathe muffins and little else.

Even the things we like to do, can get old when we have to do them every day all day.

Sometimes if you like making muffins, it is a good idea to just make muffins when you feel like it.

Jim Collins, in his business book Good to Great suggests what he called his:

Hedgehog Principle

The question that we need to ask when we are considering turning our passion into a business, are our Hedgehog questions. There are three.

What are you passionate about?
What can you be the best at?
What can actually make you a living?

And the answer must meet all three criteria.

This exercise can also be used by young people trying to sort their way in life, their personal hedgehog, as much as a business trying to figure out what purpose they serve.

So if the answer to all  3 questions is Yes – following your Passion might be  a good idea.


  1. ·        You’re passionate about it
  2. ·        You can be the best in the world at it
  3. ·        You can make money doing it.  – And you know how.

Remember - And the answer must meet all three criteria. When you refine your thinking in this way – that clarity helps you to focus.

But be clear that this is the beginning  and in business your time will be spent on many things that  need to be done that don’t involve that element about which you are passionate. 

It’s said that:

“Successful people do those things that unsuccessful people are unwilling to do.”

Some people are unwilling to be uncomfortable. Learn to be uncomfortable and see it as a sign of potential personal growth.  That's a marker as a Good Thing.

A lot of things that the business needs doing, is stuff that we really won’t want to do. But must.

But what if I have a business that is not my passion?

Here’s what nobody tells you.

You can become passionate about anything.  
Your attitude will dictate how well that passion lasts.

Passion is the start point. Alone it won’t do anything.
Passion needs to be supported with good habits that get you the results that you need.

If you have a business that is not your passion you may still have good habits that let you make it successful.

Now … time to get passionate about it.

And it is not just the thing the business does – get passionate about how well you do what you do and how well you serve your customers and how valuable your business is – or will be – to the clients you serve.  Notice that you can do the same thing to enhance passion in all your relationships. 

If you are not already valuable to them – then that’s a sign that there are improvements to be made to bring your value up higher for them – and make your business one that you can truly be proud to own and to represent and to promote.

More important perhaps is to consider how well your habits are helping you to achieve the outcomes you want.

It's not discipline you need. 

We sometimes think we have a discipline problem. When in truth we have no problem with discipline. We can do habits that are not supporting our interests, easily and on cue every time! We just have the wrong habits for the results we want.  When you swap those for habits that go with the results you want – then you really have something.

Check your passion levels.

Are you feeling passionate about what you do?

If not –
  • What element of what you do can you ramp up feeling good about? 
  • Where can you push yourself to be the best at what you do now?
  • How much more of yourself can you bring to whatever it is that you do?
When we bring more attention to what we do – we change the way that we feel about it. We can focus on feeling proud of getting even better at what we do, and we can learn to love the strangest things, just because we can do it well and it has value for someone.  That’s a good start on passion.

If you are not passionate about what you are doing – you have two choices. You can do something you are passionate about – but that might not work.

Or you can get passionate about what it is that you are doing successfully now. 

And you can make those muffins in your time off... any time it pleases you.

Related Posts

How To Set Goals - And Reach Them

The Dirty Secrets Business Needs To Know About Social Media

Why You Need To Build Your Mailing List And How To Do It

How To Get Your Local Business Found Online

Are you lousy at self promotion too? 

Like to discuss your business? Lindy Asimus Design Business Engineering Get Help For Your Business Download your free 24 Page Action Plan Marketing Workbook! Subscribe to Actionbites Blog