Keep Going Fellow Entrepreneur, You Got This!

Tales from the Online Marketing Crypt #13
Embracing the Life of an Entrepreneur During Dark Times

“You don’t understand Susan.”

This was a part of a conversation I was having with someone not long ago. This person was understandably distraught – they have been dealing with the enormous ramifications of COVID-related shutdowns for a year now.

Their business had ground to a sudden and complete halt.

It feels a bit unreal that it’s been a year since we were hit with this uncontrollable virus that not only disrupted our personal lives but our businesses as well.

Even though I feel very blessed that our business at eVision Media was not nearly as affected as this person I was speaking to, I could most definitely relate.

I too was in a deep state of desperate despair nearly 20 years ago.

Back then, identity theft was just beginning to rear its ugly head and I was not-so-blessed to be one of its early victims. So much so, law enforcement told us it was the worst case they had seen to date.

It was so bad my life had come to a screeching halt.

I couldn’t work. I couldn’t pay my bills. And worse yet, I couldn’t do anything about it.

I felt helpless, powerless and completely alone.

Because this was a relatively new crime, there were no standard procedures for the law enforcement and courts to follow, and at the end of the day, it ended up being a huge shitshow. Pardon my French!

While Daniel and I waited for our lives to get back to “normal”, we were powerless to do anything but count on the powers that be to quickly resolve the situation.

Meanwhile the credit cards were maxing out, the mortgage was overdue and we were imminently facing foreclosure.

It got so bad I remember standing at the grocery store till one Christmas, with a gnawing pit in my stomach. I was worried the smallest turkey we could find, potatoes and vegetables I picked up for our Christmas dinner would not max out our last credit card and get rejected.

Thankfully I was able to make that one final purchase on that card and be able to serve a nice dinner to my family.

But that instance just reinforced the reality of the situation.

I fell into a deep despair, playing Tetris until the wee hours of the morning and sleeping until the afternoon. I gained an enormous amount of weight and just wanted to stay in bed.

I wished the world would just go away.

But one day I woke up and made a decision.

I decided enough was enough.

I made a choice right then and there that I could either continue to be the victim and watch my life go down the drain, or I could do something – anything –to get myself out of this hole.

I can’t say where this sudden epiphany came from but I’m eternally grateful it did.

I hopped out of bed and asked myself: “What is possible?”

After weighing all of my limited options, I realized one opportunity I had was to go back to school and earn a business degree. That way, I would qualify for student loans to help get me through financially.

Those student loans paid my mortgage payments (along with the help from my Dad that thankfully saved us from foreclosure) and put food on the table.

While I went through my studies, I also got out and took advantage of some low-cost networking opportunities that ultimately resulted in finding my first clients. Some of those clients are still with us today!

Shout out to Linda Jane, Shar, Lori and Jini. You have no idea how grateful I am to have had the honour of working with you back when you would not have known what I was going through.

So yes, I most certainly do know what you are going through if this pandemic has disrupted your life and business in a way that was unimaginable a couple of years ago.

And I can also say with absolute certainty that it is possible to get through this too.

It starts with making a decision to make a change.

Decide what that change is going to be.

And then make it happen.

As entrepreneurs, resilience is in our DNA. We need to tap into that deep-rooted energy and pull out what is needed to get through adversity and make things happen.

I came across a saying the other day that was very appropriate for this piece.

No matter how stuck you feel No matter how bad things are right now No matter how many days you’ve spent crying No matter how hopeless and depressed you feel No matter how many days you’ve spent wishing things were different I promise you won’t feel this way forever KEEP GOING

And as isolated as you think you are, know that there are many others – like me – who know exactly what you are going through.

Don’t try to do this alone. Reach out and get involved in groups where everyone supports each other. I’ve posted a few that I know of below.

Do what you need to do to get through! I promise there are better days ahead.

You got this fellow entrepreneur. Reach out if you want to talk.

How This One Thing Can Destroy a Client Relationship

Tales from the Online Marketing Crypt #18
Why being mindful of clients’ perspectives can keep them supporting your business

We all have them.

Days when everything pisses us off.

In fact, I doubt there’s a human being on this planet who hasn’t been in a bad mood every now and then.

I know I sure have my fair share of them!

And for a variety of reasons too.

But there’s one thing we business owners have an unwritten rule about (well probably it’s written somewhere by someone) is that no matter what, we don’t bring our bad mood with us when communicating with clients.

Would you agree with that fundamental principle?

But how many times have you, as a client or customer, been on the receiving end of someone’s bad mood?

It happened to me recently and that single instance literally destroyed a 30 year working relationship.

I had a hair appointment with the same gal that I’ve been seeing for decades. She works out of her home and lives about 25 minutes away from me.?I know exactly how long it takes for me to get to her place and am typically on time, every time.

Except the last two appointments.

The time previous to this last visit, I had an emergency come up just before heading out the door. It was something I had to take care of or faced dire consequences (as in having a very angry client on my hands!)

It meant I was going to be about 5 minutes late for my appointment. I texted her when I was leaving stating I was hurrying over and will be a few minutes late.

She didn’t reply and never said anything when I got there. We had our usual girl talk that I very much looked forward to.

This recent time I needed to do a quick errand before my appointment. I completely misjudged how much time it would take me to get from that other location to my stylist’s place. Plus… I got lost finding my way there since I was coming from a different direction.

I didn’t want to risk taking any time to stop and text her and honestly thought I was just a minute away… except it was more like 15 minutes before I finally got there.

I’ve never been 15 minutes late for anything and I felt terrible. I apologized profusely but unfortunately, she wouldn’t hear any of it.

She was pissed.

So angry in fact, she first lectured me on “always” being late, citing my text from the previous appointment, and that she was sick and tired of constantly hearing, “sorry I’m late” as if I’m the only one that says that every time I walk into her room.

Disclaimer: I’m a Canadian. We apologize for everything, even if we’re 1 minute late!

Stunned at how mad she was, especially knowing I was the last appointment of the day, I apologized again and tried to explain why I was late and even offered to leave with my hair wet to make up for the lateness so we would still end in time.

I didn’t know what else to do to rectify my error. She was so angry, she gave me the silent treatment and only grunted her “hold your head here” and “move to the sink” commands throughout the entire time there.

I did leave with wet hair, 15 minutes earlier than what our appointment time would have ended at had I been on time, vowing to never return again.

I fully realize I was the catalyst that set off her anger, and I also realize she had to have been having one helluva a bad day before I arrived, and I got the brunt of her wrath. I get it.

But as a customer, a loyal one for 30 years at that, there’s no excuse whatsoever to be treated like that.

Never.

When I have bad days like what she must have experienced, I set aside whatever is going on and treat anyone who I speak with that day, whether it’s one of our team members, a client, a lead or even chatting on social media, with the utmost respect and kindness.

Even if they are the reason for my having a bad day. It serves no purpose whatsoever to make the other person feel worse than what I am feeling. I found this experience to be so distressing, I posted about it on Facebook.

I received a variety of responses, ranging from my owing her an apology (which I did) to justifying why she blew up, right over to demanding I fire her on the spot (which I ended up doing).

These kinds of responses go to show how we are all human and all look at experiences from our own lens and past history. For me, I was taken straight back to elementary school when I was the victim of bullying quite a bit. A feeling I never want to experience again!

For others, they empathized with her where time is very important to them and get angry themselves when someone disrespects it. (I’m actually the same way – being punctual is a huge deal for me.)

One thing I have done as a result of this experience is to find the lesson behind it all. For one, I will definitely plan my time better and ensure I give myself enough time to do what needs to be done in time!

I also learned just how fragile our relationships can be. She lost a client of 30 years – and I lost any further opportunities to visit with someone I’ve known a long time to get some of the much valued girl time I look forward to with each visit.

It doesn’t take much to destroy a 30 year working relationship.

Yes I realize I could reach out and try to mend the fences but I am choosing not to. At least not right now.

At the end of the day, this lesson goes to show how important it is for us all to keep our anger in check. To realize our anger is being received by the other person, and be aware of how they are receiving it with their own personal response. They won’t always understand where you are coming from because they’re looking at things from a different perspective.

So what do we do when we’re having a bad day and business must go on?

If you ever find yourself feeling angry, whether justified or not, here’s eight tips on what you can do to avoid creating irreparable situations with your clients:

1. Exercise. Go for a walk, head to the gym, box with a punching bag. Whatever works for you to do some venting.

2. Meditate. Or just sit quietly and practice deep breathing.

3. Yoga. Nothing is better at centering our emotions and getting back in touch with our bodies than practicing yoga.

4. Watch a funny show or listen to a positive podcast. It’s amazing how quickly your anger can turn around when you’re laughing or receiving positive energy from someone else!

5. Use the anger as motivation. If you can control the scenario that’s causing your anger, then you can do something about it!

6. Focus on something more positive. A great thing to do here is think of something you are grateful for and focus on why you’re so grateful about it. Putting yourself in a state of gratefulness will trigger those happy endorphins and will get you out of that pissy mood fast.

7. Get productive. Feeling on purpose can be quite energizing. If you have something that’s calling your name, get busy and shift your attention to that.

8. Write in a journal. A great way to release that negative vibe from your body is to write it out. Keep writing until you’ve vented everything that comes to mind. Even if it’s not the same thing that got you angry in the first place – just let it all out!

I’m curious if you have ever experienced someone either getting angry with you in a business relationship or did you lose your cool and get angry with a client or service provider? How did it turn out? What lesson did you learn? And do you have any other tips on how to let go of anger to share?

To your business success, ?Susan Friesen

P.S. If you liked what you read (and heard) here, you will want to sign up for our newsletter where you’ll get notified every week of our blog posts, announcements and business-building strategies. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES: 1. READ: Learn effective communication principles from an expert. This book from communications specialist Yvonne Douma is a must-read. It will be available on June 8th but you can get yourself on her notification list and grab some great bonuses if you purchase on launch day: REFRAME: How to Change Your Conversations to Resolve Those Messy Conflits.

2. WATCH: Have you ever been frustrated by the lack of customer service from another company and vowed to never do business with them again? And most certainly never told anyone else about them?? ?This is why customer service is so vital to business success as I explain in this eTip episode on why it’s the primary reason we have such a high referral rate: How Great Customer Service Gets You Business Referrals. (on our website)

What is Digital Marketing

When we use the word “Digital Marketing”, we are literally pertaining to online marketing efforts from a brand.
Therefore, if you’re asking what’s Digital Marketing (DM), SEO Services, Content Writing and Search Engine Optimization are included:

This is a practice in Business through which advertising messages are delivered through online channels like websites, mobile apps, search engines, social media and emails. It helps a brand generate interest in their products among their consumers. Though DM started gaining popularity within the year 2000. within the last few years it’s revolutionised marketing communication.

In a real sense:

It is brand messaging (Advertisements) delivered through electronic channels like Television, Radio, Internet etc. Electronic channels generate, store and transmit data within the series of the amount 0 or 1. Therefore,

It can happen both Online and Offline. If the above is true, then

It existed ever since Marconi sent first wireless signals in 1896. Isn’t that crazy!

However, the straightforward definition of DM doesn’t say enough about the practice of digital marketing in today’s world.

This meaning is useless as technology is simply the enabler of digital marketing. So allow us to understand what exactly digital marketing is?

What is Digital Marketing in Today’s Context?

In today’s context:

It is a group of interactive marketing promotion activities which are done online. These activities help a private or organization reach its audience and achieve its business & financial objectives. Therefore once we say digital marketing, we are essentially pertaining to Online Digital Marketing.

The other sort of DM is offline digital marketing, which happens on other electronic devices like Radio or Television.

I know you’re not here to examine radio or TV, so i will be able to spare you (though I even have invested many dollars on Offline marketing during my career).

Going forward during this article once I say “DM”, i’m actually pertaining to “Online Digital marketing”, as that’s what you plan to read here, right?

It is a group of selling activities and not only one activity. It is Interactive and not only one way. It enables two-way communication and is far more engaging compared to the opposite marketing methods. Interactivity is what distinguishes it from advertising on Television, which is additionally electronic but not interactive. It happens online. What it essentially means is that the activity is administered on the web or telecom networks. Though it happens online, it can empower both the virtual or offline world. An example of DM within the virtual or online world is email marketing or social media marketing or program marketing. within the colloquial sense once we say digital marketing we ask virtual or online marketing only. An example of this within the offline world is that the use of tablets to showcase product offerings at a mercantile establishment . It helps a private or organization. it’s useful not just for large companies but also for people also , unlike TV or newspaper advertising. One can cash in of digital advertising on small budgets also . It helps reach and have interaction the audience . it’s focused, and one can use multiple targeting methods to succeed in their audience. It helps achieve business and financial objectives. it’s measurable & ROI driven. It helps achieve business & financial goals.

Benefits of ad serving for real estate agents

When you think of advertising, you tend to think of large, well-known corporations hitting the internet to broaden their marketing horizons. The reality, though, is that online ad serving is perfect for businesses big and small, from large chains all the way down to individuals looking to grow an online business or even sell a book. One industry that does a great job of making use of the online world is the real estate business. It’s a highly competitive market yet very fragmented with many real estate brokers and agents. Many agents are independent and consist of just one or two individuals. They are all constantly looking for ways to reach more potential buyers and sell properties as quickly as possible. Online advertising is a great way for them to do so, for a variety of different reasons, some of which we are going to explore now.
Low cost Each property has a budget for marketing and online advertising is becoming an important part of that allocation. Because real estate agents are essentially independent contractors, they have the freedom to market the properties in a variety of different ways, with the internet being one of the most cost effective these days. Buying or selling a house is often the biggest transaction for most people. Serving ads online is a relatively small selling expense when compared to other costs.

Major real estate businesses, such as MLS, have their own websites. However, individual agents also have their own online space, very often under the umbrella of the company they work for. Setting up a website used to require technical knowledge or hiring someone. It is no longer the case as buying a domain and creating a beautiful and functional website is quite simple. You can multiple create ad campaigns for each property and publish them on multiple marketing channels. These ads can all point to a landing page that you designed specifically for the property. You can register a unique domain for just that house address for a few dollars. There are many services to create and host a simple website that contain photos and information about the property. This digital presence helps deliver a high ROI when each property eventually sells, hopefully very quickly.

High reach The reality is that the longer a house sits on the market, the tougher it is to get the asking price, so speed is essential in this business. You want as many people to see your property when it is ready to accept offers. Simply putting up property details on a single page is not likely to yield a lot of positive results. The most effective way to quickly reach a lot of people is to have your ads trafficked on multiple channels because this creates the sort of reach and exposure that can potentially spark a bidding war for a specific property. Adservers are very flexible as you can really scale up rapidly during the first few weeks and then scale down quickly when you have a deal. This flexibility means that you don’t have to worry about long-term contracts and can save money while delivering results.