Of course we all want to build our lists and grow our followers but there are strict rules against marketing to people who haven’t agreed to be on your list, so how does it happen? I’m guessing there are some unscrupulous companies who buy and sell lists, and then there are other lists that you find yourself added to because you have bought something online and couldn’t get to the payment stage without registering your email address.
I did a bit of a cull recently and unsubscribed from no less than 20 lists that I had never signed up for in the first place! What I didn’t do though is report any of the emails as ‘spam’. For new brand owners trying to establish themselves when their list is still small, this can be hugely detrimental because mailing list providers will suspect that you may not be legitimate, MailChimp for example came back at a client of mine effectively telling her off because 2 people had reported her emails as spam. If your list is small, 2 could be a high percentage!
Don’t do it guys! It’s no problem to unsubscribe – that’s your choice but don’t move to the junk folder absent-mindedly. For your newsletters make sure that you make it crystal clear how to unsubscribe, sadly that doesn’t always work, I recently received a nasty email from someone who had apparently emailed me before asking to be removed – I didn’t ever see that email but did see the one that said
‘your emails are in breach of the UK Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR). I am advised not to use the “unsubscribe” option on your email as this only informs companies, such as the one that you have employed, that send bulk emails (spam) that emails have been received and encourages further harassment’
Seriously? Which company that I have employed? He went on…
‘If I receive further emails from you, I will initiate a complaint against your company with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).’
Ouch! I wrote back to him personally, apologised and wished him a happy Christmas, I genuinely have no idea how he got on my list if he had not signed up but it happens. I think he may have felt suitably embarrassed at taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut – I got a Merry Xmas back!
So continue to put your efforts into building your lists – it’s the most important marketing tool you have, and support others by signing up to receive content from them if you want to be on their radar, but when you do feel overwhelmed at the assault on your inbox and decide to do a ‘cull’, just unsubscribe and don’t let it get reported as spam (unless of course it actually is!).
While a relatively small percentage (15.4%) gave an unequivocal ‘Yes’, a mass 47% (or 941 people) replied ‘Mostly’. Roughly a quarter responded, ‘Not really’ and 11% said not at all.
The figures were fairly even across genders and ages, with a variation of only one per cent of women feeling more well-disposed to their jobs than their male counterparts, and people between 25-34 being around a percentage point happier than the other groups between 18 and 55+.
Northern Ireland, topped the poll of job satisfaction with 18% giving a joyous ‘Yes’, closely followed by the South West (18%), London (18%) and Scotland (17%). At the other end of the spectrum, only 9% of respondents in Wales were willing to say they love their job.
Asked what would add more happiness to the workplace, 52% said regular salary increases were the key to happiness, while just below came ‘Flexi-time for everyone’. Other high scorers were ‘offices with natural light’ and ‘more emphasis on work-life balance’.
A common theme among those volunteering ideas on how to create more happiness was a change in management, with answers such as ‘a good boss’, ‘good leadership’, ‘less aggressive management’ and ‘bosses that aren’t bullies’ this was representative of many people’s experiences.
Of the 38% dissatisfied with work, over a third were seeking opportunities in a different industry – but just under a third were taking no steps to change their situation, while 3% were seeking life coaching to help them make their choices.
Interestingly, nearly 29% of women and 25% of men admitted to suffering from depression, with 10% more women than men seeking therapy, and five per cent more women consulting their GP. Men also failed to talk to family and friends on the matter, and a higher percentage chose to ‘do nothing’.
Men vs. Women…
Often we need some help with empowerment even if we know deep down that we’re capable it’s such a smoother path when we have others to support, nurture and empower us. Often it’s enough to be in a community of like-minded people to feel motivated with moving forward. There can be many influences in our life that don’t always want us to surge ahead.
It can be really frustrating when you feel paralysed to move forwards in both your business and your personal life, when you know deep down that you have so many ideas and that you could carry them through… if only you had a bit more confidence. Self-belief can be the killer of many dreams!
Change is always scary whether it’s moving to a new home, a new job, leaving a situation to be on your own or putting your creativity out into the world, it’s a risk and it needs a big leap of faith. Have you been close enough to take that leap and felt the discomfort? Have you felt it would be easier to stay exactly where you are?
Mahatma Ghandi says:
“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”
Oftentimes it helps to ‘fake it before we make it’ and to me this translates as your belief being more than half of the challenge. There is plenty of practical help available to us to learn about creating our niche, creating our website, marketing our business etc. These are all things we can learn and confidence and self- belief is part of the equation.
Think about what’s really holding you back today? Is your inner critic a little guilty of keeping you stuck?
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I don’t mean that flippantly – what’s interesting is that many people who are passionate about their work are so preoccupied with how they can help others and grow their brand that they haven’t stopped to ask what it is they really want for their business. That’s not the same as a business plan or a projected growth, I’m talking about the bigger picture. In my new book ‘You Are The Brand’ I talk about the importance of defining your one big dream and being really specific, saying I want to make loads of money won’t cut it, (you may get a windfall or a massive order only to then see it disappear again.)
Leaving yourself out of your dream is common too amongst heart centred business owners. One client who is a very successful expert in weight management said her dream was that the NHS recognised the link – fast forward to utopia for them (tricky to imagine I know) but assume the dream delivered and the NHS got it and offered NLP techniques to all – and she didn’t feature! She had left herself out of her dream and her brand!
Own your own USP and your own unique brilliance and decide upon your one big dream for your business. Be very clear on all the details, base them in reality while still dreaming big (it probably won’t work to dream of being an Olympic swimmer if you don’t like getting your ears wet).
Then get set to be amazed what could happen next – something will – once you set your intentions and have real clarity on what you want magic happens! You notice things you haven’t noticed before, someone comes into your life…
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Since I started coaching clients the question I hear over and over again is ‘Am I good enough?’ People who want to write a book or get their book out there to a wider audience often tell me they are fearful that the market for what they write about is already overcrowded – ‘there are already so many books on my subject’…they lament…’ Will anyone be interested in mine?’
Of course my answer is always the same, there may be many books on your topic but there’s only one YOU’ – That’s why it’s critical to really know your YOU-sp (USP) – what it is that makes you YOU-niquely different.
Having said that I’m not immune either to the odd ‘wobble’ about my credentials. Recently I was thinking about planning an event around helping people with their public speaking skills, helping experts and entrepreneurs become the Go-To expert in their field and how to attract opportunities and maximise them.
Just as I was about to start looking at venues I saw some advertising for an event not dissimilar to the one I was planning – except that this entrepreneur had hired a huge venue and seemed to be totally rocking and at the top of her game in that arena. What did I do? Panic! – I went through all those same concerns and fears, am I really good enough, could I ever fill out a big conference venue?
I must admit I really did feel as though the wind had been taken out of my sails, it took a session with a great inspirational coach (we all need someone a few steps ahead of us) to make me realise that my experience and message is not the same as my ‘competitor’ and what I share with my audience is different and just as I remind my clients, I too have my own skills, talents and specific USP – for starters I’ve had twenty five years in the media and been on both sides of the microphone!
Sometimes of course it’s good to check out the competition, absolutely google around and see what others are doing in your field, it also doesn’t make much sense to host your event the same weekend as a competitor if the target audience may be similar, but don’t get obsessed by what others are doing, there will always be people ahead of us (thank goodness – they can pave the way and help us) and there will always be those coming up behind. And perhaps with our unique skills talents and clear definable ‘USP’ we can assist some of those newbies – the ones who are our ideal clients.
That’s the key really, there’s only one YOU and you are the right person for the right ‘tribe’ or ‘community’. Other experts, brand owners and teachers will be the right person for another community. Ultimately it’s a big old ocean and there’s room for lots of ripples, so go ahead and make your waves!
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They have committed to giving away 99 per cent of their Facebook shares (that’s estimated at around 45 billion dollars right now) to charitable causes. They will still be exceedingly rich but there’s no doubt that their philanthropic statement brought them even more notoriety and their fair share of controversy too.
‘If I had only one dollar left I’d spend it on marketing’ is one of Bill Gates favourite sayings and he certainly got some column inches in the UK recently too (and probably got paid for his time!) about his financial giving. There was a heart-warming interview in the Daily Mail ‘You’ magazine – Meet the everyday billionaires, Judith Woods spoke to Bill and Melinda Gates and found a grounded lovely family with strong values.
‘Bill loves doing the washing up and I like to slip into my yoga pants and eat popcorn’: At home with the world’s richest couple’ was one of the boxed out headlines and of course the angle of the piece was not to promote themselves and their corporation (let’s face it their net worth is £53 billion – more than the wealth of some small countries!) however they were clearly willing to put themselves in the frame – to stand in the spotlight – in order to get even more awareness for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which doesn’t fund its own projects but channels funds into existing organisations such as the World Health Organisation and Unicef.
For me as the reader looking at this three page article with images of Bill and Melinda with their children and on a visit to one of their charitable projects in Haiti it made me totally warm to them, it gave me an insight into what makes them tick, and if it’s still important to Bill (and I’m guessing it will be!) he should pat himself on the back that he has reassured yet another customer that he (and his wife) are people that we can do business with – because we feel we can Like, Know and Trust them.
Like me, you are probably not at the stage where you will be asked to appear in a three page spread about your life and work in a national Sunday supplement, you almost certainly won’t have a cool 45 billion dollars to donate to good causes, you may not yet be in a position to leave your day job in order to follow your passion but remember the saying…’You don’t have to get it right, you do have to get it going’ and if you are going to succeed in a heart centred business you must remember that people do business with those they like, know and trust. Be prepared to be visible within your business.
Oh and according to Melinda you should be willing to take some risks, Warren Buffet gave them this advice when establishing the foundation… ’Don’t just go for the safe projects, take on the really tough problems’. If you have got an idea brewing that seems just too scary…ask yourself – should I feel the fear and do it anyway?
If you have a book to write, a business to launch or grow, an idea to nurture, a programme to promote, take a risk and get it going. Be willing to put yourself in the spotlight and don’t forget to attract some attention….your marketing may cost a little more than a dollar but without todays social networking opportunities maybe not much more!