This post brought to you by Cath Connell, Spicycat Creative

The term “target market” is thrown around a lot, but working out who YOUR target market is, can often feel elusive or overwhelming.

target marketHere are a few ideas to help:

1. Whose problem does your business BEST solve?

Your business offers a specific answer to someone’s real life problem – it might be anything from clothing their kids to doing their BAS. Although there may be many different solutions in the marketplace, YOUR target market will not only benefit from what your product/service provides, but will also identify with your personality, philosophy, brand image, location etc.

2. Who do you most like working with?

It’s my belief that life is too short to work with people we don’t like, don’t trust or don’t relate to. As small business owners we are lucky… we can ignore the masses and be a little more picky! Choose a target market you would like to build your brand community around (and yes, online communities count)!

3. How many clients/customers do you want?

Many of us are not aiming to grow into massive enterprises, so there is little point choosing a target market that covers “everyone”. Focus on a “niche”, based on where your talents/solutions meet your target market’s problems. Don’t make your niche TOO small though, or you will be constantly struggling for business.

Marketing is simply about connecting with your “ideal customers” – a target market is just a bigger group of them!

target market

 

Spicycat Creative is a boutique marketing consultancy with a strong focus on growing authentic, connected brands.

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This post brought to you by Frederike Ramm, Ondetto Web Design

Every business owner wants Google to love their website. While search engine optimisation is a complex topic, the starting point is a well designed website that helps Google understand what your business is all about. By incorporating these 5 features into your website design, you’ll build a great foundation for gaining Google’s love.

Marketing1. Create a clean website structure and easy navigation

Google’s robots are smart, but they can get confused! A clean website structure and easy navigation will not only benefit the robots, but your human visitors too. Your website structure should follow a clear hierarchy, e.g. with sub pages for your various product categories or services. If possible, each main product category or service should have its own page on your website, and should be easy to find through your navigation menu. Google also likes you to create a sitemap to make it even easier for the robots to crawl your website.

2. Include the right keywords, in the right places

Keywords help Google understand what your website pages are about. Think about the keywords a potential customer may be using to look for your type of business or product. Then incorporate these keywords into your website, ideally one main keyword per page. For example, you might create a page for the keyword “flower delivery melbourne”, and a separate page for the keyword “wedding flowers melbourne”.

On your target page, include the keyword in the page title, meta description, main heading, page text, URL and in image alt tags.

3. Write a blog to keep content fresh

If you haven’t updated your website for 5 years, you may be in trouble! Google is always hungry for fresh content and will prioritise websites that have been updated recently. A blog is a great way of keeping your website updated and feeding Google the fresh content it craves. Posting new articles at least twice a month is recommended.

Another benefit of your blog is that it creates new pages with long-tail keywords related to your business, e.g. “how to pick your wedding bouquet colours”. While there may not be as many searches for this keyword as for “wedding flowers melbourne”, the smaller amounts of traffic you can capture with each blog post will add up.

4. Be sociable

Incorporating social media into your website has many benefits. While it is still unclear how much weight Google really gives to social shares and likes, it does crawl social media websites and will take social chatter into account when evaluating your brand’s online footprint. If you are talked about on social media, and people share links to your website, Google will take note!

5. Make your website responsive

Google likes us to create websites that are useful and relevant to its human visitors. Usability on mobile phones and tablets can be an issue, and Google clearly recommends making websites responsive so that they adjust for mobiles and tablets. That way, you can have one website that serves all devices and is easy for Google to crawl and index.

While there are a lot more factors involved in SEO, these 5 tips will hopefully get you a head start on your way to a loving relationship with Google.

Marketing

 

Frederike Ramm is the owner of Ondetto, a Geelong based web design agency for small businesses.

 

SEO image courtesy of Stuart Miles / www.freedigitalphotos.net

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As entrepreneurs we are the face and soul of our business. We have the ability to breathe life into our business (and unfortunately at times breathe life out of our business). Being in business requires a huge amount of personal growth, which then equates into business growth. Often we are the thing that holds our business back from success (even though we don’t like to admit it).

financial year abundanceIn my business I have found that my fears, self-doubts and confidence will hold my business back from taking it to the next level! These uncomfortable feelings will often present themselves especially as my business is changing or growing. It is almost like a radar to keep me safe! Safe from failure, success or even safe from making a total fool of myself.

When these fears and doubts present themselves in my business, I need to look within to see why they are coming up again. Often for me it is about feeling good enough to do whatever I need to do! By taking away my focus on the fear or doubt I can then focus on what is important that I am good enough and look at ways I can improve my confidence and belief in myself, for example by using affirmations to help change my mindset to a more empowered place.

I was recently told that I need to Get Comfortable with These Uncomfortable Feelings! It is when we feel uncomfortable and push through our own personal limiting self-beliefs that we propel our business to the next level. Make the commitment to yourself to get comfortable with your uncomfortable feelings and face them head on!
financial year abundance

 

Debbie Rossi is a kinesiologist, business owner, author & speaker. She is passionate about helping Mums become the best version of themselves, in business and in life.

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Having goals to strive for in our business is great. It is a sign that you are ambitious and have a plan on how to be a winner. Goal setting is not the sexiest exercise in the world. They are even more pointless if you are setting the wrong ones. Chase after the wrong unicorn and you will end up with mud on your tracksuit pants plus not much to show for at the end.

RightBizGoalsCheck your goals against the ones below and see if you have been aiming for the right ones:

1. WRONG GOAL – To have customers lining up for me because of this idea I had

Imagine that you have a brilliant idea in your head which could be turned into a business. You wrote business plans, chose which corner of your living room to turn it into a home office, looked at various colour palettes for your website and dreamed about how many business cards you should order. HOWEVER this goal is essentially useless if you have not uttered a single word about what you do to a soul. For customers to want your stuff, they have to know that you exist. In order to know that you exist, you have to seek them out.

Goal to set – Create strategies to promote my work and attract customers to my business.

2. WRONG GOAL – The next person who pays attention to me will be my customer

Ok, let’s say you went out there and told people about what you do. Unless you have an amazing product on your hands (think – a smartphone that will knock the socks off Apple) or provide a service which everyone needs and only you have it, don’t get too disheartened if the first person who paid attention to you is still not reaching for her purse. It does take a little while to build a relationship, gain trust and increase your likeability factor in the eyes of a stranger.

Goal to set – To engage in an authentic relationship with my potential customers.

3. WRONG GOAL – I want to earn at least $10,000 in the next 7 days

I wouldn’t say that if you were to set this goal for your business (even if you are in the early stages) is far-fetched. It only sounds ridiculous if all you have is a good idea but no clear game plan on how to generate income from it. For example, you have an idea for a smart refrigerator which is virtually connected to your local grocery store. Its role is to place an order on your behalf whenever any food items runs low. You talk to a busy working parent. She is keen to know more and possibly even buy one for her family. Bam! You have a potential customer. Boo hoo! You have no way to get money off her.

Goal to set – My next product launch will enable me to meet my target income of $________.

4. WRONG GOAL – I want to quit my day job, start a business and be wealthy.

If you don’t have a plan, kindly do not set this goal. Unfortunately real life is not like Hollywood movies. It takes time to build a business and even longer to earn an income to comfortably provide for you and your family. Before you go all out and quit your job, have a plan on how to manage your finances, your new career and your family. Be prepared to make any temporary sacrifices in order to fulfil bigger goals.

Goal to set – To have a profitable business by putting the right foundation in place.

5. WRONG GOAL – My family is to be fully supportive every single time I have to work

Starting a business is never easy. Starting a business from home with a family to look after is even harder. No matter how supportive hubby may be of your business or that the kids are fine over at grandma’s, please don’t take this as a sign that it will be 100% OK all the time. Your priority as a mum in business is to make the business fit into your lifestyle and not the other way around. Establish boundaries so that your family clearly knows when you have your Businesswoman hat on and when you are Mum.

Goal to set – My business shall exist in harmony with my family life.

Having your dream business and a happy family life is not impossible when you put in place sensible, realistic and practical goals. Goals are there to guide you towards your definition of success so make sure you set the right ones.

Your turn – what goals have you set in the past that turned out to be wrong for you?

 

Cassie headshot 1Cassie Lee is a Business Transformation, Mindset and Action coach who inspires entrepreneurs to overcome their inner critic, take action and be a champion of their own success. Grab a copy of her free Ebook “You are What You Think” as the first step towards developing the ideal mindset for a business and life you want.

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Generally, one of the first things a mum, starting a business, will do is get a website. Some mums may be lucky enough to have the skills to do it themselves but most will probably pay someone else to do it. Your designer may do one or more of the following – obtain your domain name for you, write content, arrange the website layout, design a logo and provide you with images. You pay for something which is hopefully amazing and everything seems wonderful. And in most cases it will be.

website materialsBut issues can arise – you might want to make your own changes to the website instead of paying the designer all the time, or use the logo and the images for other promotional purposes or even have control of your domain name. You should be able to sort things out with the designer, because after all you paid good money and you should be able to do what you like with your website and your logo. Right?

Who owns the rights? The basic rule of law is that the person who creates the works owns the copyright in them, even if someone else has paid that person. The exception is where the designer is your employee. This means that in most cases, the website designer will own the copyright in the logo, the website layout and content unless and until you get a written assignment of copyright. Many designers will not or cannot assign rights in the layout, because for example, they use a standard template. However, you do want to own your words and your logo and know you can use the layout without any arguments.

When things go wrong – a client once came to me with just this problem (although I’ve added in quite a few facts to show how tricky it can get). Her website designer had registered a domain name for her, designed a logo and taken photos and written some content for her website. There was a falling out and when my client reproduced her own logo on some advertising material to be used at a trade show the website designer complained. Why? The designer claimed that he owned the copyright in the logo and although my client could use it on the website he had designed, she could not use it anywhere else. An assignment of the rights in the logo and the website content was going to cost extra money. My client was understandably confused, angry and frightened about what all this meant. An amicable solution was reached between the parties but it still took time away from running the business.

You’ll notice that the Motivating Mum website has a copyright notice at the bottom of the homepage that says: 2010 © Motivating Mum. That’s a good thing because it means Motivating Mum owns the rights in the webpage and that’s what you want as well.

How to avoid the problem – make sure that you understand exactly what you are getting for your dollar and if the designer is creating content or logos for you, make sure you get an assignment of the copyright in this material at the same time.

 

Sonal Moore of Moore+Moore IP is a mother of two almost grown up daughters and has been advising in the intellectual property area for 30 years. Her firm has no website (because there are not enough hours in the day) but you can find her on LinkedIn or at [email protected] She is passionate about helping start-up businesses navigate the world of copyright, trade marks, patents, terms and conditions and the Australian Consumer Law.

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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