Dallas Business Consultant Elijah ClarkDallas Business Consultant Elijah Clark

Website Design

A website gives your business the opportunity for exposure 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. There is no other medium that allows consumers to discover all of the benefits of your business, at their convenience, and provide a source for direct correspondence from the user to you in real time. The benefits of a website are limitless.

Building Process. When building a website, make certain that you design the site for your customer and not for you or the graphic artist or designer. Design for the individuals that will use the site. By building for your customers, it allows you to target who is actually going to be viewing, and hopefully purchasing, from the website. Don’t design for looks, but for a purpose. If customers don’t like the colors then, no matter what you or your designer may think, those colors need to be changed. When building a website, you need to focus on attracting your target audience and making the site user-friendly.

A properly built website requires an effective title and meta tags, incoming links, and a strong architectural design. In addition, you should implement social media strategies through the use of proper link baiting, keywords, and creating a pay-per click campaign that will increase customer conversions.

— For more lessons like this, purchase your copy of Act Like a Business: Think Like a Customer by Dr. Elijah Clark from all major bookstores. —

Why you aren’t getting referrals

As humans, we are greatly influenced by our relationships. We each enjoy being members of loyalty programs and networking groups that align with our goals. We have selected and continue to go to the same supermarkets, gas stations, banks, and purchase from only select companies. This happens because of an unspoken relationship that exists with these businesses and brands. They make us happy, we trust them, and their consistency is calming in a chaotic world.

Relationships are natural, and our preference of who we develop relationships with are often based on past experiences and expectations. Similar to dating relationships, customer and businesses relationships involve courting, falling in love, marriage, honeymoon, and then the questioning of whether the relationship has a future. At that moment of questioning, the relationship either continues down a happy road or ends in divorce or breakup.

Are you successfully developing good relationships with your customers or are you just present? Are they only with you because they are content or do they actually feel that you are the best option for them? If you haven’t gotten a referral in a while, then you may not be pleasing your customer as well as you think. After reading this email, start a new one and write your customer a thank you message. You’ll be surprised how far it goes.

If you’re a professional — whether you’re an entrepreneur or an executive — you need proven, high-level strategies to really make your business grow and it starts with understanding the needs of your customers.

Personal Brand Messaging

Branding involves creating, maintaining, and enhancing the awareness of your product or service. In establishing the credibility and awareness of your brand, third-party endorsements have a tremendous effect. Individual branding is different from business branding in that it requires a continued positive attitude and even stronger relationship building. Unlike business branding, which recommends posting a social ad or banner on a webpage, billboard, or in print collateral, personal branding requires networking— and lots of it. Networking can be done via social networks, local group meetings, and events. In addition, during these networking sessions, the individual needs to be likable and must present good character, knowledge, and a pleasant appearance.

Attitudes toward the message of your brand have an impact on the customer’s purchase and behavioral intentions. To promote your brand, you could invest in advertising, which is a more general means of communication for promoting your brand. Marketing-oriented publicity elicits either positive or negative cognitive responses in customers. A positive cognitive response enhances the brand messaging which has an impact on the customer’s purchasing decision. A negative attitude and cognitive response toward brand messaging reduce the likelihood of a customer making a purchase.

A perfect example of marketing based on customer brand attitude and the use of endorsements is the Beats headphone brand. The brand was introduced without a large budget and focused on building credibility through celebrity endorsements and word-of- mouth. As customers accepted the credibility as positive, they spread the word about the product as being a commodity to those interested in owning the popular brand. With the help of social promotions, celebrity credibility, industry targeted publicity, and brand messaging the brand has developed into a multi-billion dollar company.

— For more lessons like this, purchase your copy of Act Like a Business: Think Like a Customer by Dr. Elijah Clark from all major bookstores. —

The most important part of your business

The marketing message is the heart of a marketing plan. It details the business’s plan for the market materials, how the company plans to achieve its marketing goals and the tactics that will be used to meet them. The marketing message determines how the business intends to communicate its message to the customer.

When creating your marketing message make certain that you focus on how you want your company to be perceived by customers. Do you want customers to view your business as having good prices, customer support, quality service, etc? Once you determine your marketing message, you will know the next steps for achieving business success.

Brand Story

As humans, one of the ways we build relationships is through the stories we tell; why else do we catch up with our friends, right? In business, it’s no different. You want to create moments between your business and your customers.

Those willing to share the experiences of their founders, customers, and staff can reap the many benefits that storytelling offers. It shifts the focus a little from what you do and talks about why you do it.

The story of your brand is as individual as you are, and it needs to tell your audience who you are and why you’re doing what you do. It is where your manifesto comes to life, giving your audience context for your business and a chance to connect with what is important to you. After all, people buy from people.

— For more lessons like this, purchase your copy of Act Like a Business: Think Like a Customer by Dr. Elijah Clark from all major bookstores. —

Marketing plan vs. Business plan

I’m currently working on a new course around business plan writing, and it reminded me of how often I get asked to create a business plan when the customer actually wants a marketing plan.

To give you an idea of a difference between the two, business plans focus mainly on defining the company, its history, mission, and goals. A business plan includes more than just a marketing plan or strategy. It also includes discussion regarding staffing, locations, finances, and strategic alliances.

A marketing plan focuses on creating keys to success. It takes the mission and goals of the business and outlines a detailed plan to reach those goals and generate success.

When gathering data for either plan or strategy, gaining feedback is important considering most all ideas will affect each department within the company. Leaders and managers can provide realistic data, experiences, and share insight into market opportunities.

Design Colors

One of the most important tools to take into consideration when designing your brand image is the color palette. This is not a superficial decision— color carries meaning and communicates ideas. Sometimes you’re locked-in to the colors of a brand, but other times you’ll have the freedom to explore.

Your visual identity is a visualization of your brand’s characteristics and includes your logo, color palette, typography, and more. Logo strategies are evolving in line with the rise in digital channels, available formats, and color options. Your logo should help your business stand out. According to Nielsen Research, when purchasing a product, more than 92% of customers place brand presentation as a determining factor in making a purchase.5 Color is visual, it affects mood and humor, and triggers cognitive and emotional meaning for customers. The colors you select for your business should help to enhance your brand and influence, not hinder, sales.

When deciding upon a color palette to select for your brand, treat your colors no differently than you would your keywords. A balanced recipe equals impact. In other words, colors subconsciously effect customer perception and help to convince customers that they like what they see.

— For more lessons like this, purchase your copy of Act Like a Business: Think Like a Customer by Dr. Elijah Clark from all major bookstores. —

Customer marketing with a purpose

Customers often make their purchasing decisions based on available information. Consequently, it is the responsibility of your business to provide customers with information that helps influence a sale. If presented and marketed effectively, the information can persuade the customer that they need what your business is selling even if the product is outside of the customers’ desires or immediate needs. In this sense, information used within your marketing efforts are responsible for shaping the needs and wants of customers. The

implication is that, through marketing, you can capitalize on the customers’ internal weakness and persuade them to make a purchase.

Brand Image

Find a good graphic artist. The right artist should not only be creative, but should also understand how to create artwork that is marketable. A well-designed business logo helps your customers remember your business, as customers tend to remember images better than they remember words. Designing your image is the easy part, but knowing what to design, who to design for, and how to direct, entertain, persuade, and attract attention with your artwork is the difference between having pretty artwork and effective artwork.

A logo can often look simple, but even the simplest logo may have taken weeks or months to create. Your logo deserves deep thought and continued editing until it is well- developed and ready to display as a unique image that enhances your brand and helps you stand out from the crowd.

— For more lessons like this, purchase your copy of Act Like a Business: Think Like a Customer by Dr. Elijah Clark from all major bookstores. —

Have you sent your resume?

Without marketing, your business is taking the risks of potentially losing customers and revenue. Think of your brand, website, or artwork as a resume. You spend hours or days writing and designing it to perfection and years building it through experience and education. After you’ve culminated and beautified your resume, what next? What’s the next step to ensuring that you land that dream job?

The appropriate response is to send your resume to employers.

In the case of business, that is considered marketing. You need to market yourself to gain the employer. A terrible resume sent to potential employers has a higher probability of landing the job over a superb resume sitting in a drawer. Without marketing, you will waste time and money creating a great brand for no reason at all.

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