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Small Fish - Small Business Tips and the Latest News

How to make your emails useful

Despite the obvious fact that this is an email and you are reading it now, most of us don't bother reading them.

How many do you get every day?

I get between 50 and 100 emails every day and almost half are stupid bulk emails from people like Groupon offering me cheap towels or something. I unsubscribe often but it seems (mysteriously) not to work....

So I get about 50 that require me to do something or respond somehow. I'm trying to do a days work as well as respond to emails so I have a (sort of) system for them. It goes like this (and I don't think I'm unusual or special):

Is it from someone I know and like or do regular work with?

If so, I'll read it quickly and decide whether to respond immediately or save it for when I'm back at my desk and not trying to type on a mobile phone.

(Sometimes I get to my desk, I forget the email - they drop below the fold and they might as well be gone forever)

Is it interesting or short enough to be dealt with in one go?

Well maybe I'll read it or deal with it while I'm between meetings or having that coffee, then.

Anything else tends to fall into the last category - perhaps I'll read it or deal with it later when I have time. Which is usually not soon.

Now maybe this just illustrates what a retard I am and that I need to rethink my email management (probably something there) but I suspect that email overload applies to a lot of us too.

20% is a good open rate for an email list that is opted in.

So rethink your communicating. If it is important - call them up.

Follow up with a confirmatory email if you need to reinforce something or give them info - they're already past the filter.

And, if your staff think that sending an email absolves them of responsibility for stuff, don't let them get away with it.

Hands up whose email marketing, or even direct email communications, sometimes (often) go unanswered?


Jon Dale
Small Fish Business Coaching Byron Bay
www.smallfish.com.au

How Mobile Is Your Marketing?

Have you noticed that some websites now have a cool layout just for use on smart phones and tablets? Do you have the type of business that could benefit from a mobile friendly website? Have a think about it! Restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs, doctors, vets, mechanics, real estate agents…. I could go on all day. All of these types of businesses (and hundreds more) are services that should be search friendly on a mobile device. Here are some interesting facts on mobile websites:

  • One third of the world’s population use mobile devise to perform internet searches

  • It is expected that there will be 520 million location based searches performed on mobile devices around the worlds in 2012

  • One half of internet searches for local products and services are performed from mobile devices

  • Google Analytics has added mobile metrics so you can now see who is searching for your business on a mobile device

Not convinced? Check out these examples on www.GCWeb.com.au’s website. Take note of the bottom of the mobile websites where you literally click once to call or click once to see their location on a map – how easy is it for your potential customers to call you using a mobile device from your website? Would potential customers have the patience to click through to find your contact details or would they just move on to the next mobile website that does offer ease of use?

Leesa Kennedy from www.GCWeb.com.au says that a lot of businesses think the addition of a mobile website will change the layout of their current website or require a huge input of cash. It’s not true, your website will remain exactly the same when viewed from non-mobile devices and mobile websites start from a couple of hundred bucks!

Check out GCWeb’s cool mobile emulator to see what your website looks like on a mobile device - 

                



Melanie Miller
Small Fish Business Coaching Gold Coast
www.smallfish.com.au



The Smell of Desperation Around Small Business Marketing

Phwooaaarr what is that smell? Oh, I know! It is the stench of desperation around a lot of Small Business marketing.

Businesses that don’t have a stable, consistent and well thought out marketing strategy often fall into the trap of desperation marketing. It is highly reactive and often based on a lack of “kerching” at the cash register. We have all experienced it; your inbox fills up with special offers and enticements to spend our cash and to spend it today. I personally love businesses throwing me sweet deals on a regular basis but my business brain says… “This is bad, very bad."

Want to avoid being stinky? Plan ahead! Understand your marketing goals, plan timelines (based around seasonal shifts) and know your conversion rates in regards to your advertising. Invest time in planning to avoid having to throw out quick tricks or lures to win business. If you keep throwing them out there it will only be a matter of time until your customer base no longer wants to purchase anything you offer without some type of enticement. This is not good for your business and is definitely not good for your bottom line.

Want to read my thoughts on why you shouldn’t discount? Click here

Small Fish Business Coaching Gold Coast


Using Social Media In Your Business (A Business Coach Tries To Make Sense Of It)

The Small Fish Social Media MeshIt’s OK, I know I’m a business coach and not a social media expert but we’ve been learning a little lately and I thought you might find it interesting. I’ll defer to the experts and I acknowledge the input of a few experts in this field. Mark Barrett from CI Marketing (our Internet marketing adviser and website custodian), Natalie Alaimo, coaching client of Melanie Miller and Social Media specialist, Seth Godin (who I’ve never met but who writes and speaks with considerable authority), that guy who wrote “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” and Michael Stovin-Bradford of Tactical Resources.

No-one knows all the answers, everything is changing so quickly that there are no answers in the way we used to think of them – that there’s a right way to do things that will give you guaranteed results. There’s not and it’s likely that that old certainty is gone forever, at least where the Internet is concerned.


This article tries to share what we’re doing when it comes to social media and how it meshes with our online strategies. I’ve been thinking about why people use social media (it’s not because they want to hear how good you are or why they should buy your stuff); the social (media) contract; relationships and the mesh (thanks
Lisa Gansky).

The Social (Media) Contract


Why do we use social media and the Internet (I’ve lumped them together here). As I said, it’s not so that we can be advertised to, we use it when we want to find things out or when we want to find out about things (including where we can buy them and how much they cost; we use it to be entertained, interested, informed – in a sort of lazy, passive way.


I’m not sure where this assertion came from but it rings true – we use the web (Google mostly) to look for things. We expect to find them quickly and, if we don’t, we’re back to the search results looking for a more useful site before you can say “click here to find out more”.


We use social media like
Facebook and Google+ (watch for this one – it promises to be huge) to be mindlessly entertained, to see what our friends ate for lunch and to see what they’ve shared – because we’ll probably be interested in some of the stuff they’re interested in.

I know from my own habits that overt sales messages or someone talking about themselves too much gets boring. I’ll read posts or articles or click through tweets or subscribe for emails if I think they’ll be interesting.


And our tolerance is low, too. I only read about 10% of the regular emails that come my way (and I know that only about 20% of the people who receive our Fish Tales open it to read it). We scan the heading and make a very quick decision about whether we read on or not – there’s so much stuff out there, we’re not interested in checking to make sure we don’t miss something interesting. If it’s really god, someone will share it again, anyway.


So, the social media contract – be interesting, useful, entertaining. Reveal something of yourself, share what you’ve learnt recently, pass on interesting and useful titbits (but not too many, that’s boring, too). It’s ephemeral – what you share or write is soon lost.


If people like what you say or share, when they go looking to buy what you’re selling, they will (probably) go and look for you – via whatever social media or web channel they’ve been.

Jon Dale
Small Fish Business Coaching Byron Bay
www.smallfish.com.au



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