The Best Questions to Ask When Defining your Niche

A foundational element of any marketing campaign is a defined niche. The wrong niche can have a massive impact on your ability to generate sales. When selecting your niche you want to look for two key things, budget and drive. The other thing I will add here is that you want a niche that is large enough to support your goals. Even in an ultra tight, targeted niche, a good target number is a minimum of 50,000 active prospects for it to be viable.

You want to make sure your niche has drive or need for your offering. Otherwise, you will have to spend time explaining rather than educating on your specific offering. The marketplace you select should also have cash flow. You do not want to spend your resources on a niche that ultimately cannot pay for the offering.

When determining your niche, ask yourself a variety if not all of these questions:

  • Is this niche large enough to support my business?
  • Does this market congregate somewhere? Are they accessible online?
  • Does this market invest in similar products or services?
  • Does this market have money?
  • Do I have some affinity within this niche? (Do I already know this market well?)
  • Are there trends in the marketplace making it more likely for them to buy or are is this niche trending down?
  • How does the marketplace feel about my offering? Negative, positive, open, etc…
  • How often are new people coming into the market? How often are people leaving the market? (this churn is not negative, it will just help you as your develop your messaging.)
  • Are there certain regularity or legal issues you need to be aware of when marketing to this niche? (worth noting as this may have an impact on your messaging)
  • Is this a seasonal marketplace?
  • Does the market provide you with an opportunity to plug prospects or customers into a membership or continuity model? (I am a big advocate of this model as it creates ongoing residual revenue)

Having a defined niche allows you to focus your efforts to generate the best results for your company or brand. Once you have the ‘who’ in place, the messaging and strategy flows from there. If you need help identifying your niche or have questions, I am happy to help in any way. Shoot me a comment below and we’ll get in touch!

xoxo,

Blonde Chick

What’s the MO?

In an environment of creatives, emerging technologies, and bottom lines we rarely discuss the mechanics of Marketing or Marketing Operations. Marketing is hard. Whether you’re a Marketing Manager, Director of Marketing or VP the need for a more transparent, efficient, and responsible view of marketing is shared. While you’re expected to have a wide breadth of skills as a marketing lead in your organization, you cannot simply be expected to be able to do it all.

The function of Marketing Operations is what affects change. I have come to think of Marketing Operations as the left brain. MO is the role responsible for strategic planning and execution as well as process development. What good is an idea if you can’t act on it?

At its core, MO aligns strategy and processes by managing activities across various marketing and non-marketing channels. Marketing operations are at the center of the marketing activity. Beyond executing a campaign smoothly focusing on the processes allows you to know that the pieces are connected, so there’s no wasted effort.

When I worked in an agency one of the biggest issues, we would face internally was based on process. The strategy would be great, the creative would be great, but the execution would lack. Not for failure to start but for inability to think through the entire process. So before you start your next Marketing Campaign take the time before you launch to dot the ‘I’s and cross the ‘T’s’ by engineering the process.  If you need help engineering your next Marketing Campaign, holla at your girl.

xoxo,

Blonde Chick

Bands that Bond Us

I remember the day we found out something was wrong. I could feel it in my gut before we even did the routine ultrasound. The emotion, the worry, the fear is indescribable. I could not form words to pray.  All I could muster was to tell God I was mad at Him.  It was unfair. It was hard to look at those around me experiencing the joy they had with their pregnancies and babies. Why?

The worst is when you feel like you have it under control then when you go to speak – you break. One particular call was with my Dad; I recall being angry with his reaction to the news. He was unphased. He said, “Rachel it’s obviously something you can handle.”  Our baby was our baby, and she’d be fine. Three months later and he was right.

I allowed myself three days to feel. Then it was time to move on. Accept the unknown.

There she was. Born way too early but right on time. I recall looking at her through the box as she looked right back. Her tiny little face. Her eyes were wide open.  At just two pounds and some change, her personality shown. I saw her legs. I saw the scars the bands left. At this moment, I wanted no different. She was my baby. She was made this way. The bands were no longer evil.

Everything about my pregnancy and the aftermath did not go as envisioned. You don’t expect to be pregnant only six months. You don’t expect to get to know your baby through the lens of a Hospital. The milestones you experience are not the milestones you prepare for. One of the biggest moments was being able to hold her with no wires attached. Going from being allowed to hold her an hour a day to being able to hold whenever we wanted.

Her amniotic bands had bonded us before she was born.  We knew the longer she stayed inside; the more damage would be done. Although my water breaking at 25 weeks has no exact relation to the bands it’s proof that even in anger, God hears.

The journey into parenthood did not come easy. I realize it’s never easy. You’re never ready. When it happens, when life throws you curve balls you just become ready.

Her bands have already taken me to places I never saw coming. I know she will continue to inspire and motivate me into the person she deserves me to be. She’s already the daughter I always wanted.

xoxo,

Blonde Chick

4 Tips to Help You Follow-up

As December arrives so does time for reflection. This year has been full of ups and downs. From a business perspective, the word burned into my brain is follow-up. I have found my biggest failures have come from a lack of follow-up.

Failure to me can come in many different forms like not sending a Thank You card after a meeting, overcommitting or letting a lead grow cold. All these things resolve by following a few simple tricks.

  1. Set Reminders. As soon as you think of the act, write it down. I typically put reminders in my phone. It takes a quick minute to write down what you need to do
  2. Take your time. If something is worth doing, it is worth doing well. I am the worst at rushing through my to-do’s missing opportunities to secure next steps or forgetting details that can take work to the next level. I have found when I slow down I can set reminders, do better work and get more done.
  3. Do the behavior: I subscribe and listen to a podcast (SalesTuners.com). One of the guests discussed the importance of doing the behavior every single day. You can check out the episode here. The biggest take-a-way I found was to ask, “what are the minimum things I have to do today?” Once you establish your standard, the work ethic follows.
  4. Timeblock: I recently asked someone I look up to (who is coincidently the creator of SalesTuners) how he manages to get so much done in a single week. His response was to time block. Doing this activity is a challenge for me as my day currently revolves around a newborn, so I am pretty reactionary. However, when I do have help with the baby, I make sure to time block those days so I can maximize my efforts and eliminate multi-tasking.

Do you have any secrets to share that help you? I’d also love to know what (if any) technology you use to help you get more done?

Is Passive Income a Pipedream?

Wouldn’t you love to wake up with more money than you had when you went to sleep? I’m pretty sure everyone would say yes. As a millennial (don’t worry I won’t bite) I know the days of the gold watch and handshake easement into retirement are over. I also share the characteristics of my fellow generation. One characteristic being the desire to work on several different things at one time and having the freedom to do so. And today’s environment it’s important to have a side hustle. All this is great, but time is finite. Enter the passive income stream.

Creating a passive income stream is somewhat of an ethereal concept. Right? I mean it sounds good. You nodded your head yes when I asked if you wanted to wake up with more money. It just seems to be out of reach. So how can you get it done?

I’ve spent a lot of time studying how to market and create passive income streams online. The overarching theme (beyond execution) is content. Yes, okay this makes sense, right? You need to create epic content, put it online, and the masses will swarm, and you’ll wake up a millionaire. Well, I wish it were that easy. Still, it’s easier than you realize.

Your homework to get started?

  1. Identify your expertise
  2. Identify your audience
  3.  Identify the unique problem they have which you can solve (this goes back to your expertise. The difference is in this step you want to solidify an offering)

More likely than not these three steps are already on the tip of your tongue. However, I challenge you to think these three steps through.

What do you know or can provide to a specific person that would radically change their world? 

There are a ton of ways to turn the passive income goal into a reality. I outlined some quick homework to get you started on the path. If you’re interested in learning more, shoot me a message. I’d love to help you create your passive income stream online.

Consistency is King

Remember when marketing was all about the strategy and not the tactics? Ya me either. Mostly because I’m young, and I made that up. But also because marketing is one of those ever-evolving doors with shiny new tactics looming just around the corner. While it’s tempting to follow the shiny object or speak marketing jargon when talking to a prospect, don’t. Avoid the temptation to speak gibberish to appear as the expert. Focus on the customer. Focus on the goals. That’s what makes marketing so fun. Yes, it’s great ideas, solid strategy, and staying current with trends. Marketing fundamentals are much more straightforward.

As marketers, we get caught up in what’s trending. When in reality consistent is more important than new. Consistency is where growth happens whether it’s in your workout regime or marketing your business. Consistency is king. When looking for an Agency or Marketer focus less on what they ‘know’ and more on what they do. I have worked with over 100 companies to grow their business using both traditional and digital tactics. The thing that works every time? Execution. Consistently following the process and getting things done. That’s what works in marketing.

Drop the jargon. Stop the talking. Start doing the work.

xoxo,

Blonde Chick

Do you lead your life?

Most people don’t lead their life, they accept their life. Most people don’t challenge their thinking. They don’t question the way things are. They don’t reexamine their thought processes.  They don’t ask why they think a certain way. Instead, they accept the answers given. They are okay with no progression no evolvement.

Don’t be most people.

Question yourself. Question others. Inspire curiosity. Don’t accept ‘no’ to your ‘yes’. Don’t tell God your plans ask Him. Then listen. Always seek forward movement and reflection. Constantly ask yourself, why. The answers should inspire more questions and the questions should inspire action.

Go ahead. I dare you. Ask yourself, why.

xoxo,

Blonde Chick

post inspired by A More Beautifull Question by Warren Berger.

 

 

Peace, Love and Worry Free

As many before me have experienced having a baby is not easy. What’s more is having a baby stuck the NICU for weeks on end. I recently had a conversation with someone who asked me if I worried. No one had asked me that before. I’m assuming it’s because the idea of worrying about your baby is presumed especially when dealing with one born so early. Yet, for me, my answer was no.

I remember knowing I was pregnant before the test confirmed. Of course, I called my sister. I then sat on my back deck as a sense of great peace filled my soul. I knew that no matter what happened everything would be fine. Since then, I can honestly say that worry has not entered the picture. I view every circumstance involving my pregnancy and  now as a series of moments. Moments that I live in. Although, I’m looking forward to the future I’m not pondering it. I’m not worried about an outcome, I’m embracing the given situation, dealing with it in realtime, and then carrying on.

At times, yes, I have been emotional. As this process is draining in every aspect. At times, yes, I have been anxious to get home. But worry. No. I’m not in control. I never was nor will ever be. So, why worry about things I cannot control? For that matter, why worry about things you can control? To worry is a waste. To trust is to have peace.

There’s a verse that has carried me since the week I was admitted to the hospital, “Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and mind safe in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7 CEB

If I feel a sense of anxiousness creeping in, I read this verse. I took a picture of it from the bible app youversion so that I can have it at any time. (although I should probably just memorize it 🙂 ). As it has for me, I hope this verse gives you peace as you face the challenges that life undoubtedly brings.

xoxo,

Blonde Chick

Keep on Keepin On

Over the past six weeks, life has changed immensely. From having a baby three months early to navigating the waters of my ever ebbing and flowing career. One thing I have been clear on since leaving my full-time job back in 2015 is that I never want to work a 9 to 5 again. Now, that I have had a baby this is ever more important as I never want to sacrifice my time with her for money. I never want to miss an important event. I never want to sacrifice travel and opportunity due to the parameters inherent with a corporate career. All this to say, I’m proud that I have been able to create a lifestyle business by working with and for like-minded individuals.

The biggest challenge has been time management. When given the opportunity to create your own hours, work on your own terms, autonomy is your worst and best friend. All that to say, I have learned (am still learning) a few things to keep the balance while getting the job done.

  1. Keep yourself accountable. Regardless of whether your ‘boss’ requires you to track your tasks and time spent, do it anyway. It is useful for you to know how you are spending your time. It also allows you to track the results of your efforts in relation to the task required. I have used several programs in the past most recently TeamWorks, Trello, and Myhours. They are simple to use and allow for you to collaborate with your colleagues remotely.  I also use Slack to keep communication channels open without having to use email or texting.
  2. Keep a calendar. I use Google Calendar to keep all my personal and professional commitments. I even use it to schedule my gym time, my ‘home’ time as well as study time. I try to follow it carefully while allowing me the flexibility I crave. In doing so, I set commitments each day for the things that I need to accomplish.
  3. Keep a commitment to your health. As noted above, I put in my calendar time for the gym and home. This way I have pre-scheduled the time needed to take care of my health and hearth. I have also recently joined a group that my sister runs that fosters a community of people striving to stay fit and eat healthy. This creates another layer of accountability beyond the intrinsic drive. (if interested in that, you can email her by clicking here)
  4. Keep learning. Never stop reading, listening to podcasts, meeting new people and engaging with those that think differently than you. I have recently started diving more into podcasts. There is so much free information out there from experts in every industry. A few of my new finds are Side Hustle Nation, Tropical MBA, EOFire, & Growth Hack Your LIfe. If you can’t tell already, they are focused on the digital nomad or entrepreneur, which are obviously in line to the career and life I’m creating. I encourage you to read at least one book a month, subscribe to one podcast, meet with a new person or old contact every 6 weeks and spark new conversations. It sounds like work, but in reality, it will keep you focused and ahead of the curve.
  5. Keep your priorities in check. Constantly re-evaluate your priorities. By looking at your calendar and your activity you can start to see a pattern of how you are spending your time. If you start to see a shift towards one thing or another be sure to make sure that shift is in the direction of your goals. If not, make a shift back. Your priorities should align to your purpose. Make sure you are vigilant in keeping these at the top of your mind.

Any tricks or tips you care to share?

xoxo,

Blonde Chick