How To Future Proof Your Business

Hi, everybody and welcome back. In this blog post, I want to talk to you about seven ways you can future proof yourself. Now, there is a lot of changes that happen all the time in the market, in platforms, in technology and when those changes happen, I never really get scared because I’ve put a tremendous amount of time and energy into future proofing myself. A few of the skills that I’ve developed are having a great creative eye and being able to learn anything, having great salesmanship skills, having good communication skills. Those are just a few of the things, but I’m going to go into some others. What if plan A, plan B, plan C doesn’t work out for you? How are you going to make the shift? How are you going to pivot in order to make sure that your career stays viable and you stay successful?

It’s really dangerous to identify yourself with your job or with your career, or with your field in a really deep internal way. You have to stay to a certain extent, flexible, and be able to evolve with changes in the world as they happen. Now in many ways, the future is now. There is so much change going on in the world. Here are just a few of the things that have been changing that have caused people to have to evolve, to have to pivot, to have to learn new skills. The development of the internet, of course that was a long time ago, but now there’s a huge explosion in mobile and also in applications. The rise of artificial intelligence, the rise of a 3D and virtual reality, the death of retail. So, malls are disappearing and physical retail is going through huge shifts.

Populations are moving to the cities. So, populations in rural areas is declining. There’s this huge trend in the end of job security. So, long-term job security is one of the things that’s kind of become a thing of the past. There’s a massive explosion in entrepreneurship. There’s this huge rise in the number of independent contractors that there are in the world. There’s an amazing amount of change going on in the world all the time and being able to future proof yourself so you can stay relevant in your professional career and with your company is incredibly important. So, now I’m going to share a few of those things with you.

1: Focus on solving people’s problems, not on a job description.

It’s really easy to create a personal identity or a sense of self around a particular narrow job description, and that’s really dangerous because the world is changing so quickly. You want to be able to evolve. You want to be able to learn new things and be open to learning new things. So, focusing on solving people’s problems as the key focus of what you do is what’s going to really help you stay future-proof. You have to develop empathy, you have to get really good at listening. You have to understand and care about people’s problems because then you can focus on developing the solution and that’s how you’re going to get paid for what you do.

2: Developing great research skills and great communication skills.

Communication skills are probably the most important skill that you can have, period, both written and verbally because communication skills are the most important thing to have in just about every job description in the world. Also, research skills, and what I mean by research skills are the ability to gather insights, so that’s gather trend information, gather competitive data, sort through proof points because these are the sorts of things that are going to support your points of view and also support the decisions that you make for your own business and also for your client’s businesses.

3: Making sure that you embrace new technology and that you become an early adopter.

Technology changes so quickly and it affects just about every job description in the world. So, paying attention to what’s happening in technology and continually learning and continuing to be open to learning new things and new applications and new processes, and not resting on your laurels on one particular thing that you do is an incredibly important thing when it comes to future-proofing yourself. You want to be able to learn new skills and new apps and understand new industries, and new business languages because that kind of flexibility in that kind of growth and evolution in you is what’s going to help you in your career.

4: Developing an independent body of work.

It’s very easy if you work in a corporation and work in an agency to rely on that external company that you work for to kind of establish your sense of self and your personal presence. You have to pay really close attention to establishing your own beachhead, to owning your own land, so to speak. You have to develop your own website, your own writing, your own content development and your own social media presence. Even if you work for other companies or agencies, you want to make sure that you’re continuing to work on developing an independent presence and an independent body of work outside of the job that you have.

5: Never romanticize your industry.

Categories of industry change all the time. Things come and go. There’s probably someone out there who thought they were going to be selling CDs their whole life or doing video rentals and retail their whole life. Things change. The steel industry, gone. The retail toy industry, getting totally changed. Website design even has gone incredibly quickly to template design. Social media advertising has also become automated in a lot of regards. So, you can’t rust on your laurels. You have to have your eyes wide open and pay very close attention because the industry that you are working on or working in could very well be changing over time. So, don’t romanticize the fact that you think your industry is going to last forever because chances are it might not. So, keep your eyes open.

6: You have to assume that one day you’re going to get fired or you’re going to get laid off.

No job lasts forever. People these days generally have six to eight jobs in their life and they sometimes in many cases work in three to four different industries in their life. So, you may have a job that’s very secure and you really like it right now, but you have to assume that one day the company you’re in, or the agency you’re in is going to be acquired by another company and they’re going to do a huge reorganization and you’re going to get laid off. That’s one of the reasons why I said you have to make sure you’re building an independent presence all the time, but in order to future-proof yourself, you just have to be cognizant and internalize and understand the fact that someday you may get laid off.

That way if it eventually does happen, you’re not going to get caught by surprise. You’re going to have the pieces in place. You’re going to have the foundation in place to move to the next thing and you’re going to have your eyes open about your industry and what’s changing. So, you’re going to be able to pay attention to where it is you need to go. You’re going to have great trend gathering and research skills to be able to have a good view of what the competitive landscape is and where the business world is gaining speed and where it might be slowing down so you can make the right choices for your career, for the next step of your career or the next step of your business, that’s informed.

7: Overarching one.

You have to learn to pivot. You have to understand that you may have to shift directions when disruption occurs. You have to be prepared to move when the market moves. You have to watch the market. You have to pay attention to trends and new emerging industries. Now, motion and video, and AI and drones, and virtual reality and smart appliances, all of these things have come up in the last five to eight years. There are brand new markets. There are brand new things happening that you may be able to move into or leverage into or learn about in order to future proof yourself for the longevity of your career. You want to continually nurture alternate skills. So, if you’re a graphic designer, you may want to learn about photography or animation or you finances, or sales, or music, or software development.

By continuing push your skill set boundaries, you are going to future proof yourself. So, that’s it. I hope you enjoyed this blog post on seven ways you can future proof yourself.


A complete guide for Digital Marketing

Today, we’re going to talk about why digital marketing is important in today’s world. We’re also going to talk about what is digital marketing, and the types of digital marketing channels that are out there. Then we’re going to talk about the customer lifecycle in digital marketing. So what does it take to get somebody from point A to point Z, through digital marketing? And so those are the topics we’re going to cover. So hope you enjoy yourself while you’re learning, and let’s get right to it.

Let’s start talking about why digital marketing is important. Everybody, every marketer is using digital marketing for his or her business. Now, digital marketing’s become more popular than traditional marketing. Over the past few decades, digital marketing has evolved at a rapid pace. These days, a lot of people spend most of their time on the internet.” So what happens on the internet every 60 seconds? Well, a lot happens every 60 seconds.

According to social media today, there’s a lot of snaps, there’s a lot of clicks, there’s a lot of text, there’s a lot of videos watched, there’s a lot of pictures being taken. There is a lot of voice-activated activity going on, a lot of tweets, emails, swipes. There’s a lot going on here in 60 seconds. So there’s a lot of activity on the internet. A lot. And so the one gentleman says, “Hey, can you also mention a few differences between digital and traditional marketing systems?” And then the expert responds, “Of course. I can certainly clarify a few differences between digital and traditional.” And so he goes on to say what the differences are between traditional and digital elements. Look at that.

In traditional marketing, we’re talking about print, radio, billboard, newspaper, TV, anything that’s not on your mobile or laptop. So we know, with traditional marketing, reach is limited. With digital marketing, reach is maximum. And what we mean by that is, hey, when you print something, you’re printing it for X amount of people. If you’re trying to promote an event and you basically create a thousand flyers, okay, you figure it’s going to a thousand people, maybe they’ll share it. So you’re looking at about 2000 people maybe, just to be generous. Well, digital marketing, we’ll promote an event, we can promote it to a whole lot of people, depending on the platform. So 2000 is nothing when you’re targeting an audience on Facebook or Google search. Traditional marketing, non-versatile, and with digital marketing and very versatile.

With digital marketing, you’re running display banners. You have 468 by 60. 200 by 200. 250 by 250. 300 by 300. I mean, the list goes on and on, the types of different display sizes, not to mention text ads, not to mention video or multimedia. So there’s a lot you can do to get your message out there. With traditional, it’s always delayed communication. So if you’re trying to get that TV spot, there might not be a spot open until one in the morning. Well, with digital marketing, there is no hours. You can certainly get your point out there and have people see it instantaneously.

With traditional marketing, there’s a lack of real-time results. I mean, this seems like it’s obvious, but digital marketing, that’s one of the biggest benefits. Instant, real-time results. Instant. Nowadays, going to analytics, you can look at real-time reporting. So we could see real-time results. Traditional marketing can be very costly. I mean, if you’re not only doing postcards and printing postcards, but you have to mail those postcards. So there are postage fees. Where, with digital marketing, it’s very, very, very cost-efficient. I mean you could pick and choose who you want to target when you want to target, where you want to target, what you want to target. And if you’re doing a search, you can put your bidding in place, you can put your hours in place, you can really control how much you actually spend.

This is biggest advantage to digital marketing. Not only do you get real-time results, but you can control costs, and then obviously optimize, based on the amount of cost you’re spending, based on those real-time results. With traditional marketing, it’s difficult to reach a target audience. With digital marketing, it’s easy to reach a target audience. I mean, I don’t want to bash traditional marketing too much. I mean, if you’re going to put a TV ad in place, you’re going to do it on a TV show that tends to gear more towards your target audience. But that doesn’t guarantee anything. Here, we can simply go to Facebook, or Twitter, or LinkedIn, and just pick and choose specifically who we want to target when we want to target them. So it just becomes a lot easier to reach a targeted audience on a digital marketing platform.

With digital, you have easy to measure and optimize campaigns. And what we really mean by that is, because you get instant time results because you can control cost because you can reach your target audience more easily, all those are the result of, okay, you can measure and optimize. Based on what our audience is seeing and how much they’re spending to see it, we can quickly make adjustments in order to optimize the campaign for better performance. So that’s generally, what that means, that’s a culmination of pretty much everything that we’ve listed as a benefit for digital marketing.

Now, why digital marketing’s been answered, with all the benefits that it carries, let’s talk about what is digital marketing. So you know that you want to do digital marketing. So how do we go about that? What is it exactly? Well, let’s just define it. Digital marketing is just the act of promoting a company’s product, or an individual’s product or service with the help of a device or technology. And so, obviously, when we talk about the device, we’re talking about maybe a laptop, we’re talking about a mobile device. And when we talk about technology, it could be an app, it could be a cloud-based platform, it could be a piece of software. So a lot going on, on the digital side, in terms of variations and what you can do.

But that’s, in a nutshell, what digital marketing is. You’re really just using technology to promote your product or service. So we know, because of the benefits in digital marketing, you can promote your campaign on different platforms. So all those benefits we mentioned about instant, real-time results, cost efficiency, optimizing campaigns, you could do that on search, you could do it on social, via email, on mobile apps, etc.

That’s what we mean by with the help of digital devices and technology. Well, these digital devices and technology come in the form of search engines and emails and mobile apps, et cetera. So when we want to go and promote our product or service, using a campaign, we have different options. So there are different types of digital marketing channels that we could choose from. And let’s just go through that list of digital marketing channels. And the first one is what I consider the king of them all, and that’s SEO. So SEO stands for search engine optimization. There’s search engine marketing, there’s email marketing, affiliate marketing, social, content, mobile, and then we can get into subsets of each of these digital marketing channels. But really, we’ll start with SEO because that’s the king. And to me, that’s basically increasing the quality and quantity of relevant, organic traffic on the search engines, including Google.

Dependent on where you’re located, in the U.S. market, Google has a large market share. So you want your pages on your website to be found and clicked on organically. And so that means if somebody types in a keyword, you want that relevant page to show up first on Google, so somebody can click on that link. And we know that millions of people, specifically in the U.S., but worldwide, use search on a daily basis. So if you’re ranking for those relevant keywords, you can imagine how much traffic you can get. So that’s SEO. And here’s an example. So you type in online shopping. Well, you could see the first listing here is a paid search ad. I’m going to get to that in a minute. The second, organically, is Amazon. So online shopping, you think maybe Walmart, you think maybe Alibaba, or you’re thinking probably Amazon. So no surprise, Amazon’s ranking for the keyword, online shopping. And so if somebody clicked on their listing, that’s traffic for Amazon.

Let’s move on to search engine marketing, known as SEM, or pay-per-click, or cost-per-click, or PPC, or CPC, or sponsored search, or Google Ads. I mean, there’s a lot of different names synonymous with SCM. So search engine marketing is really just using paid ads on search engines. Just as we saw the previous example, if you want to be found for a keyword, you don’t have to worry about organic if you’re willing to pay for it. You just bid on that keyword, and voila, you have the opportunity to appear number one in the search results, at the top of the page, for that keyword. Now, when somebody clicks on it, you have to pay Google, if it’s Google you’re advertising on. But that’s the beauty of search engine marketing. You can bid on keywords and appear at the top of the search results for that keyword.

Example here. If you go back to online shopping, well, is bidding on that keyword, online shopping. So they’re actually appearing above Amazon’s organic listing, but that’s what they want to do. They want to be found for that keyword. So if they’re not ranking for it organically, well, they’re bidding on it. And if somebody happened to click on that listing, then is going to pay Google something, depending on what the cost per click is. And so that could be anywhere from one penny to $100. It depends. It depends on the keyword. It depends on who else is bidding on the keyword. It depends on the location. It depends on the time of day. It depends on the quality score. There’s a lot of factors involved in regarding what you pay. However, the benefit of SEM is visibility and getting traffic to your website for keywords you’re not found for. So that’s why SCM is such a popular choice for a lot of companies.

Let’s talk about digital marketing. That’s a traditional type of digital marketing channel. It’s been around a long time. We all send emails on a daily basis and we probably all receive emails on a daily basis. Just it’s an effective way to capture leads and convert them to customers because with the email you can personalize your emails and you could send your emails to a segmented audience. So if you have emails from females who are 35 years of age to 44, that live in, say, the southern part of the United States, you can segment that and send them an email and cater that email directly to that audience. And of course, you can put some nice call to action in there. You could design it really snazzy, and you could track it, just like you can any other digital marketing channel. So email’s a very effective way to really reach a target audience, because everybody, for the most part, has a functioning email account.

Basically, here’s an example of an email that could go out. If you’re selling a product and the product’s promotion is about to end, well, get that email out to your target audience. Let them know that, “Hey, you have until tonight to purchase a product. And if you purchase it, you’re going to get 30% off.” And you can put the coupon code right in there with a nice call to action, and you can measure how many people click on that email, go to that webpage, and purchase the product, using that coupon code. So that’s an example of email marketing.

We have affiliate marketing. So affiliate marketing is an effective way for digital marketers to basically create a sales force of people. So basically, what you’re doing is you’re getting merchants to promote your products and services, and you using, usually, a third party broker like Commission Junction, or, as an example, to introduce you, the person selling the product, the merchant, with the affiliate. So that affiliate could likely be a merchant him or himself. And they can basically be a good partner of yours by publishing your product or service on their website so that they can sell in order to get commissions. So it’s all based on a commission. So you, basically, are going to use a third party affiliate like CJ, get all these affiliates to work for you. They’re going to promote your product or service. If they do sell your product or service, you’re going to pay them a commission. That’s more or less how it works with affiliate marketing.

And with affiliate marketing, to me, it’s a good way to really promote your product or service, and you can pick and choose the affiliates or the publishers of whom you want to work with. So here’s an example of affiliate marketing at work. You basically see a banner. Basically, you could see you earn up to 12% advertising fees with a trusted e-commerce leader. So if somebody clicked on that and purchased, for example, or joined, you could pay out that commission.

Let’s turn our attention to social media marketing. So social media marketing, I would say it’s fairly new. I mean, if I think about it, we’re in 2019 and I remember talking about Facebook back in 2006. So you’re talking about 13, 14, 15 years of social media. It’s definitely evolved over the years. But the concept remains the same. It involves creating different types of content, depending on the platform. So you could be on Pinterest or Instagram and be dealing with photos, or you could be on Twitter, tweeting out certain characters up to a limit. So it really depends on the social media platform that really drives the type of content you’re going to promote. But we know social media can be effective because people use social media. I mean, Facebook is one of the more popular platforms, and if you want to get your product or service out there, you could certainly pay to have an ad on Facebook, or you could just post your content organically. That’s the beauty of social.

Most of your social platforms, like LinkedIn and Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest and Instagram, they all have a paid form of advertising that you can use to promote your product or service. Or you can go the organic route, and post content organically in hopes of driving traffic back to your website. So with social, you do have two options here. But social is interesting because there’re a lot of different social media platforms out there. It really depends on your product or service. So an example of social media marketing, especially on Facebook. With Facebook, you got mobile and desktop, and you obviously have the opportunity to post something organically and have that liked, or commented on, or shared. Or you could post an ad and get that liked, commented, or shared, or clicked and have people go back to your website, and fulfill the goal of what you want them to do.

Moving on to content marketing. So content marketing is really an effective way of really distributing valuable content online. And when we talk about content marketing, we’re talking about different types of assets. So it could be simply texting in the form of a blog post, or it could be a video, or it could be an infographic, or it could be an image. There are lots of ways to create content these days, especially in digital marketing. And the great thing about content marketing is you’re writing content for a targeted audience. So if you’re trying to target an audience on, say, Instagram, then you know who your audience is and you know what the type of content you’re going to post on there. So it could be in the form of a video, or infographic, or just a graphic.

And so that’s the beauty of content marketing, really putting yourself out there, and depending on the platform, putting yourself out there with various types of content. So for example, if we look at YouTube, you could see this video here about digital marketing certified associates. Well, hey, you don’t need to always write the content. You can produce the content in the form of a video and post it on YouTube. This is a form of content marketing. So that’s content marketing.

And then let’s talk about mobile marketing. So content marketing, again, different types. But if we go now to mobile marketing, you can kind of segue from content to mobile because the only difference here is, with mobile, it’s strictly on a mobile phone. It’s not desktop. So mobile marketing is really a strategy on its own that helps you, the company, promoting your product or service, to reach your target audience through a mobile device. And that includes tablets.

And how you could do that is via messaging. You could do it via email, or you could do it via an app. So you have different ways of getting your content out there to people. So as an example, you can use basically SMS, or instant messaging via mobile devices to promote your product or service. Here’s another example of mobile marketing via app install. And so you can even compound that by running a, say, Google ad as an example. And running your Google ad on, say, just mobile. You could do a bit adjustment, just for mobile. And the goal could be app installs. And you could even do a mobile or app extension. So there are lots of ways to really promote your app, or your product, or your service via mobile marketing.

Let’s talk about customer lifecycle. So we know why we want to do digital marketing. We know what the digital marketing channels are because we just talked about them, from SEO, to social, to affiliate, to mobile, to content, to SCM. You have a lot of different digital marketing channels at your disposal. So now, how do we go ahead and approach our customers? So that’s what we’re going to talk about first.

We’re going to talk about different stages of the customer lifecycle. And the first one is the awareness stage. So we need to get our customers aware of what we’re selling and what we’re promoting. So the awareness stage is really what product does your brand offer. That’s a question we want to get out there and we want to answer. Why does a customer need your product? That’s a question we want to answer with digital marketing. What solution does your product provide? That’s an answer to a question we want to make sure people understand. So these are questions that we want to be able to answer in the form of digital marketing, whether that be mobile or content. So getting our information out there, that answers these essential questions. And if we could do that, then somebody is going to become aware of our product or service.

What product does our brand offer? Why does the customer need it, and what solution does it provide? Those are some key questions that people tend to ask themselves when they look at a brand. And when they look at a product, “Hey, do I really need this? Is it going to help me in my life? And who is selling this? I mean, who is this brand?” I mean, those are just things that run through people’s minds intuitively, that with the right messaging, the right channel, the right type of asset, the right targeted audience, you can quickly make somebody aware of your brand’s product or service.

In this stage, it’s how potential customers discover your brand with the help of these different marketing channels. So in the awareness stage, content is key. So, to me, if we have a website, we need a blog, because if somebody does come to our blog from, say, organic search, SEO, then we can write about that product or service via the blog and talk to our customer, talk directly to our targeted audience through that blog. And if we’re not ranking organically, we can use paid search to promote it because a paid search on Google, for example, basically we can be right at the top of their search results. And so somebody can actually see it when they do a search because we know millions of people use the search on a daily basis.

You could do social media marketing. So you can publish that product or service on Facebook, while you’re building your community. And you can use affiliate marketing to help get the word out by using, as an example. Build up a sales force of people, these publishers that are going to put your product or service out there. So to me, in the awareness stage, these are the digital marketing channels you could focus on.

Now, I will say one thing about display ads. The display is part of search engine marketing. You could use a display because you can reach a large number of people. So even though it’s listed here, low priority, in the awareness stage, display ads mean that if you go on Google’s Display Network, you could pick and choose your sites, your demographics, keywords, topics, and audience. You could focus on all those different demographics to really attract a large number of people. So low priority, but it’s probably also good to focus on, in the awareness stage. So content marketing, you must create high-quality content that people are searching for. Without content, it’s hard to get found. And so to me, this is where the blog comes in. SEO, take that content, get it optimized. SCM, if we’re not ranking organically, we can make sure we’re at the top of the paid search results, or the search results for a particular keyword we want to be found for.

Now that we’ve got the word out via all these different marketing channels, there’s that consideration stage. So people are aware of us, now they’re considering us, and that’s kind of the next stage in the process. So a few essential questions to address on the consideration stage. Hey, what features make your product valuable to others, and how will I increase customer engagement towards my product? So those are answers to questions you want to ask. What features make your product valuable? You want to basically separate yourself from the competition. Basically that’s what you’re trying to answer.

If you’re promoting your product or service on paid search and other people are bidding on the same keyword, how are you going to stand out? And then how will I increase customer engagement towards my product? So for example, if you’re on Facebook, and you’re trying to get people over to your site to purchase your product, then how are you going to improve that engagement? You’ve got to create something really snazzy, or really it’s going to be attention-grabbing, or something that’s going to get them to become aware of it, that’s going to separate your posts from all the other posts that are in somebody’s Facebook newsfeed.

You really have to work hard to really convince somebody, to get their consideration towards your product or service. So in this stage, your customer considers your product, so help them understand how your product is valuable. To me, email works really well here, because if you have a targeted audience, this gives you the opportunity to really answer those questions in that particular channel. Email. You could support that with a promotion. And display. I think the display is a good option here too because even though people are trying to become aware, you can really hone in and really get them to take that next step.

With display, you can even do remarketing. So if somebody’s been to your site because they’re aware of your product, they’re curious, you can cookie them and remarket to them via the display. So display, to me, is a good channel to use here. So you have email, mobile display, SCM, these are all good channels to use on the consideration stage, especially on search, because if somebody’s looking for something and they’re aware of your brand, then you have the good opportunity to get them to click on your ad, especially if you’re offering a promotion, and get them to convert.

The goal here is to increase our engagement. So people are aware, we’re moving them further along the funnel. With email marketing, we have the opportunity to promote the product by sending an email directly to our audience. So with this stage, plan your campaigns around welcoming emails, newsletters, we can talk about product descriptions, ad ratings, and reviews in the email. We really just want to encourage people to purchase the product. We’re trying to sway them over. So email is a good source to allow us to do that. So with mobile marketing, we can promote the products by sending relevant messages to our target audience. Display. Again, retargeting, because we can retarget an audience that has been to our website, already did some research about our brand, our product, or service, and now we’re going to reach back out to them, to sway them.

Remember, we want to encourage customers to buy a product by creating detailed articles about the product. That always helps. And that’s content. We want to opt for a customer testimonial. That helps sway people. And add some guest blogging. We can have ambassadors blog on our behalf, or we can go out and blog on somebody else’s site. So blogging works both ways. It’s ways of showing yourself and telling people, “Hey, we know you’re looking for this product. Here’s why you want to choose us.”

Moving on from the consideration to the purchase stage. So they’re aware of you, they’re considering you, and now we’re on to the purchase stage. So the questions we want to really make sure we address here, are how are my prices compared to my competitors, and is my brand more credible than others? So they’re considering you, but that price point. And it may not even be the price. It could be the shipping, for example. The price could be good, but the shipping cost could be high. So you really want to do some due diligence and research on what your competitors are doing.

Credibility. That goes back to the consideration stage and testimonials. You want to make sure you have reviews and testimonials to really elevate what you’re trying to tell customers, and that is, “Hey, I have a good brand. I have a good product. I have good service. Come buy my stuff. Come buy my product and service.” But you really need to support that claim. You just can’t go out and say it. And so supporting that comes in the form of what other people say. And that could be reviewed. That could comment on a social media platform. It could be starring on, say, Yelp, or Google My Business. Make sure you do your due diligence and make sure you get people to review you or provide testimonials, because people are going to do their due diligence before they purchase, especially if it’s on Google My Business, or Yelp, or TripAdvisor, or whatever it is you’re trying to sell. They’re going to be able to see those reviews.

And so do your due diligence to get the reviews. And if it is a negative review, hey, that’s okay. You can’t please everyone. You’re going to get them. That’s the world we live in. Just make sure you show your upper hand and respond, even to the negative as well as the positive reviews that you get. That actually bodes well to some people because, hey, it shows that I made a mistake and you’re willing to correct it. And so people actually see that. That could be the tipping point to getting them to purchase. Say, look, hey, this brand really cares because they’re really responding to people. They’re not ignoring negativity. Just those small things that can get people to change their minds.

Now with the purchase stage, according to Econsultancy, 83% of the online audience requires encouragement to complete a purchase. Encouragement. What does that mean? Well, it could mean providing a promo, giving them that extra incentive. If you don’t offer a promo, consider it, especially in the email. In the example we looked at earlier, sending out an email means that if the promo’s going to end at midnight, send that email out and tell people they have until midnight. And if they purchase today, you’ll even increase it to 20%. And email’s a good channel for that. Mobile can reach a lot of people through SMS. Social media, reaching people instantaneously. And then, really, with the purchase stage, it gives prospects and offers to help them make that purchase.

So you have plenty of channels to choose from. In fact, most of these channels, the only one, really, that doesn’t fit the instantaneous mode, is SEO. But you can really focus on affiliate, even though that’s a low priority here. You can really coordinate with your publishers, especially those publishers that have proven their worth and have sold your products in the past. Get them to help promote it and incentivize their audience.

Let’s move on from the purchase to the post-purchase stage. So this is after somebody purchases. So some essential questions we want to be able to address here. So what additional product could my customer buy. Now that they’re my customer, what else could I sell them? Without being too pushy, could, if they buy a coat, will a hat work, or a pair of gloves, or a blouse? You want to be able to not push a product on our customer but think about how you can complement that purchaser’s or customer’s product.

And then how to improve the customer buying experience. So again, this goes back to what we just said about reviews. Get somebody to offer a review. And if they don’t give you a full complement of five stars, they only give you three and a half stars, then you know what? That’s great feedback because then you can learn from that. And then the other question is will the customer refer us to others, and if so, why? So that’s definitely something you want to be able to address in the post-purchase stage. So let’s take a look here.

With the post-purchasing stage, to me, email’s at the top of this list because if somebody purchases something, you could send a nice thank you for an email. Because if they purchase, they are giving you their email in return, because you’re likely going to be sending them the receipt via email. So email, to me, is a nice channel. Send them a nice message. Even social media. You can thank your community for supporting you in this recent campaign that you ran. Even throw in an extra five or 10% on a future purchase as a thank you. And that’s easily done on social media. You could even post a blog promoting the success of a product, and then offering a promotion. So there’s a lot of things you could be doing here on the post-purchasing stage. So to me, even looking at content again, you could even put a survey together. You could even put a survey together for your affiliates. You could even post a poll on Facebook. So it’s just working in with these different channels to get some feedback about your product and service.

With email, mobile, you’re going to engage customers with follow-up emails, or customer care content. With mobile, if you have somebody’s mobile number, hey, text them. A simple thank you goes a long way. You could say, “Hey, look, if you’re satisfied, let us know. Give us a call.” You can even, in the mobile text message, you can put a link to a survey. Send emails to active subscribers, give rewards for customer feedback.

If somebody does provide feedback, give them an extra 10% off. You want to be able to reward loyalty. Loyalty comes in the form of a partnership. If you’re giving somebody discounts and you have a good product or service, then they’re going to recognize that. They’re going to say, “Hey, look, I really like this product, and they’re giving me 10%. I’m going to go out and purchase from these guys again.” So give those discounts to those active customers.

On the affiliate network, give referral opportunities to your customers. So if it’s an affiliate publisher, hey, if they’re getting people to your site, reward them. Or if it’s an email and you put a forward to a friend, get an extra 10% off. It doesn’t hurt because you’re incentivizing people to help you sell your product. So with social, display and content, use those banner ads, or use that content that you display on social, or the blog you’re going to write to give customers advice in order to maximize the value of their purchase.

Again, you can use these platforms to also enhance what they purchased. So, hey, you just purchased this product. Thank you very much. Did you know you could do this, this and this with it? And so that’s the idea of a post-purchase stage, is to maximize these channels to be able to answer those essential questions about what else could they purchase. How do I get these people to become loyal customers? So with the post-purchase stage, if a customer has bought a pair of sports shoes, for example, running shoes, you can recommend cross-product sales or cross-sale. It could be a pair of shorts, or a water bottle, or an accessory, with an exclusive discount. So that’s another example of what you can do in the post-purchase stage.

Understand Some Ways That You Can Boost Your Confidence Before You Regret

I think that there’s a crisis of confidence out there. I’ve been getting a lot of comments recently from people that are saying things like, “I don’t have the confidence to do that. I don’t have that confidence in my graphic design skills. I don’t have the confidence with my clients when I’m presenting.” There is this crisis of confidence. So I wanted to share some ways that you can boost your confidence, boost your self-esteem. So here are nine ways that you can be more confident starting today.

1: Build confidence

Confidence comes by doing. Confidence is a product of doing something over and over and over. Confidence doesn’t come, doesn’t show up the first time you try something. In fact, the first time you try something, chances are it’s going to suck a little bit. The fifth time it might be a little better. 20th time it might be approaching good. And over time, that’s how you build confidence. No one goes into something new with confidence. Confidence is built.2: Don’t compare yourself to others

You want to set your ruler of success today. You want to start today and say, “Today I’m going to be 1% better at something.” And if you’re 1% better at something every day, at the end of a year, you’re going to be 365% better at it. Confidence comes from repetition, and incremental change in small increments really, really helps, and that’s how you build confidence. It happens over time.

3: Just show up

90% of success is just showing up. You want to show up for your business, you want to show up for your business partners, you want to show up for your significant other. You want to show up for your family. Just showing up and doing your best and trying to learn and trying to improve will build confidence over time. So give yourself a pat on the back for just showing up.

4: You have to celebrate your accomplishments

You want to take a moment, no matter how big or how small the accomplishment was, you want to take a moment and celebrate it. I do something that’s really kind of silly, but it actually works, which is I actually physically pat myself on the back and say, “Great job,” when I win a new client, have a great presentation. It establishes a level of congratulations that injects itself into your psyche over time and it really helps to build confidence. It’s very easy to lose perspective or just move from one thing to another, we’re all moving so quickly, to not take a step back, to take a moment and appreciate when you actually accomplish something. So celebrate your accomplishments.

5: Learn something new.

Whenever you learn a new skill set, whenever you add a level of capability to your war chest, it will make you more confident. So by going out and training and trying something different and learning something new, it will add value to you professionally and it will build your confidence.6: Exercise

By building your strength physically, getting out and moving your body, increasing your muscle tone, increasing your endurance, it has an effect on you emotionally. Exercise is one of the best ways to feel more confident. It will give you more energy. It will give you more stamina. And I guarantee you, it will reflect on everything that you do.

7: Eliminate negative people out of your life

Negativity is like a flesh-eating disease. You want to be surgical about how you cut negativity out of your life. You want to surround yourself with people that you admire, people who are positive, people who have what you want, people who you can emulate in their success and their activity and how they go about their life. If you are surrounding yourself with negative people, it is going to do nothing but erodes your confidence and bring you down.

8: Help others

By helping others, it will add to your self-esteem, it will add to your self-confidence. By being of value and passing on energy, positive energy, things of value to other people and helping them succeed in their lives and in business, it will make you feel better about yourself. There’s a great quote by a marketing expert named Zig Ziglar, and I’ve said this before in previous videos, but it’s, “You can get everything you want out of life if you help other people get everything they want out of life.” By helping other people, it will boost your self-esteem. It will boost your confidence by lifting other people up and helping them be successful, it will help you be successful.And in concert with that, you want to give compliments freely. Now, you like getting compliments, right? It helps you feel confident, it helps you feel better about yourself, has more self-esteem. By giving compliments to other people, it does the same thing for them and it actually reflects on you and your psyche and will make you feel better about yourself. So number eight, help others. It will really increase your self-esteem and your self-confidence.

9: Act confidently:

I know it sounds kind of silly, but there’s this phrase that says, “Fake it till you make it.” And I’m not saying fake being confident, but there’s a TED video by a woman named Amy Cuddy. It’s very well known. And she talks about the power pose, where she talks about taking a physical stance, standing upright with your chest out for two minutes. And they’ve actually done studies and found out that this actually makes people have higher self-esteem and feel more confident for a period of time. So there’s an idea of taking a physical stance, raising your voice, having a point of view, holding your head up high, which will actually make you feel more confident. The more you do this, the more you act confident, over time, the more confident you will be, the more comfortable you will be with being confident. So that’s it. I hope you enjoyed this blog post on nine ways to boost your self-confidence.