The Real Cost of A Digital Marketing Plan

The Real Cost of A Digital Marketing Plan

I’m actually going to flip this on it’s head a little bit and talk to you about the costs of not having a marketing plan.

I’m actually going to flip this on it’s head a little bit and talk to you about the costs of not having a marketing plan.

Here are 5 ways that having a marketing plan will save you a lot more time and money in the long run.


Number one reason to have a digital marketing plan: confidence.

Having a marketing plan gives you more confidence.


Because you’ve done the numbers and you are making informed business decisions.

Let’s face it, most businesses out there actually fail.

So knowing what your market is, knowing that there’s demand for it and you have some odds of success will make you more confident in your business.

And you’re not risking a whole bunch of money and a whole bunch of time on a guess. You are making informed decisions.


The number two reason to have a digital marketing plan: control.

Imagine, instead of reacting to every new shiny tool that comes out online, you’re calm, collected and in control.

By creating a digital marketing plan based on numbers, you would be proactive instead of reactive. Imagine- no more wondering – “Geez, should I be on Periscope?”

If you have a plan in place that’s backed by numbers, it will make you much more confident to ignore things that come up that may not be right for your business.


The number three reason to have a digital marketing plan: increased effectiveness.

As an entrepreneur, your time is limited, so being effective is critical.

If you have a digital marketing plan, you can then figure out what elements of it you are going to delegate.

As entrepreneurs, we’re super busy and we wear many, many hats. So we need to be able to delegate repetitive tasks that don’t necessarily require our immediate attention or constant attention.


The number four reason to have a digital marketing plan: staying competitive.

If you are creating a plan and reviewing it at least once a year, that will make sure that you stay competitive.

Let’s face it, marketing especially in the digital age is chasing a moving target.

One of the laws of physics is that order descends into chaos very quickly.

So in order to stay competitive you need to keep on your marketing, checking in on it, and evaluating your efforts to make sure that they’re working – which is what you want.


The number five reason to have a digital marketing plan: Being empowered.

Lastly, having a digital marketing plan will empower you.


You will be much more empowered because you’ll have an automated sales funnel in place which will actively work to reduce the cost of your leads.

By creating a sales funnel you’ll first find out how much each lead costs, and then what your conversion to sales ratio is, and finally, you can work to optimize your ratio and decrease your costs.

What are these five benefits worth to you?

Can you see the cost to you and your business of not having a digital marketing plan?

I would be very excited to hear what your experiences or how this helped you in the comments below.

Also, feel free to share this amongst your friends and family if you feel that this was valuable.

Thanks so much for watching!

The most common (and avoidable) mistake you’re making marketing on social media

The Most common and avoidable mistake you're making marketing on social media


If you don’t know the difference between traditional and social media marketing best practices, you’re likely making this huge mistake.

Consider, before the internet, how did businesses promote themselves?

Some examples of traditional media are Yellow Book ads, Flyers, Radio Ads, TV Ads, Billboards.

There are hundreds of other marketing methods that pre-date the internet, all of which possess three characteristics:

  1. Polished, approved and proofed.

Each ad or script went through a proofing process and approval of the artwork and the language far before it ever went public.

  1. One way dialogue.

The dialogue is very much one-way. It rarely if ever elicits reciprocal conversation or two-way dialogue.

  1. It’s about selling.

The language is very much sales oriented. There’s usually the value proposition and a call to action.

Bottom line, these are sales tools that are selling.

Here’s the big difference between these types of tools and social media marketing.  

Are you ready?

The biggest difference between traditional media and social media:

Social media websites are NETWORKING Tools, NOT selling tools.

It’s so important I will say it again.

Social media websites are not SALES platforms, they are NETWORKING platforms.

Social Media is different in that instead of the one-way, proofed and professional media, it’s about building relationships, creating community and trust.

One of my favourite ways to illustrate the nature of social media marketing is ask you to imagine engaging on social media as if you’re going to a networking event.

It’s virtually unheard of to come out of a networking event with a contract and a cheque.  

You will come out with business cards of your new contacts who have given you permission to nurture that relationship.

You’re given an opportunity to go from someone they know, to someone they know, like and trust.

And then, when they are ready to buy what you’re selling, they will buy from you as opposed to your competition.

This is what social media marketing is all about. It’s about nurturing relationships and building community.

Why Social Media works as a sales tool:

If you’re beginning to think you don’t have time for networking and you should go back to your hard-selling or traditional marketing tools, think about this:

Consumers are getting smarter. Currently subjected to over 3000 ads a day* they’re getting sick of being sold to. Consumer behaviour has evolved and so should you if you want your business to survive.

To thwart TV ads, people use PVR technology.  Unsolicited emails are blocked by spam filters.  Junk mail flyers are redirected to the landfill. Cold calls are ignored with caller ID and Voicemail.  

People are getting more determined to control what media they’re exposed to and it’s getting harder and harder to reach them through traditional media.


Yet these same people are spending hours a day engaging on social media websites, watching videos online and searching things on search engines like Google.

It’s human nature to want to connect with others. It’s here on social media we can connect, engage, convert and share our experiences with others.

It’s the Place– (one of the 4 P’s of the marketing mix)- to be.

If you’re looking for fish you have to go where the fish are. Similarly, if you want to get in front of your target market you need to be on social media.

Similarities between Traditional & Social Media:

Consistency– you need to be seen 7 times at least before a consumer registers your existence. Your messaging and frequency of exposure should be consistent in order to remain top of mind.

Value Statement– you will always have to clearly and concisely communicate what value you provide.

Professional- you still need to be professional, but it’s more like the casual Friday version of professional.

Differences between Traditional & Social Media:

Messaging- Traditional media tools are sales tools- social media is a networking tool. As such, your messaging needs to be more geared to getting people to know, like and trust you rather than buy from you right away.

Two-way conversation/Transparency- Because of the conversational nature of social media, consumers will steer much of the conversation. You can’t control what they post about, but you will be expected to respond in a timely manner, addressing comments both good and bad. As such yourself and your organization will become more transparent on social media than with traditional media.

Please note, consumers will be talking about you, whether or not you’re listening. You won’t be able to stop this behaviour by declining to participate. It’s better for your reputation to be present and do damage control where and if necessary.

Increased Consumer Expectation- Our culture has very much evolved to be on-demand, always-on and technology driven. The expectation is that you are on social media daily and respond within an hour.

Paid, Earned and Owned Media-

Instead of just paid media, like billboards and ads, social media offers us the opportunity for increased exposure with “earned” media.

Earned media we create that gets shared due to the value it provides to consumers.

Owned media refers to our web assets- our web page, Instagram account, Facebook pages- these are properties online which are under your control and serve as a media channel.

So you can see, there exist great opportunities for capturing your ideal client on social media.  

This is an excerpt of Amazon’s top rated ebook, Social in 17 and the Social Media Training workshop of the same name. 

5 easy steps to identify your target market

5-easy-steps-to-finding-your-target-marketHi. Welcome to your Marketing Minute. My name is Laurel Lindsay and I’m here to help you identify your target market!

Now why would you want to identify your target market?

Well there’s several benefits to knowing your target market.

It’ll save you a ton of time, money and frustrations spent on your marketing because you’ll know who you serve. And when you know who you serve, you can communicate more effectively to them, attract them to your business, generate more prospects and convert those prospects to sales–which is what we all want, right?

Put that money in your pocket!

So how do you do it?

Well if you have an existing business already then you’ve got a gold mine of data that you can use.

Step One: Analyze the customer demographics that you have:

Ask yourself

  1. How big are the businesses typically that you’re serving?
  2. How many dollars in revenue do they generate every single year?
  3. What’s the position of the person that you’re working with in the company?
  4. Or, is it a micro-business?
  5. What’s the geographic location?

Just start looking for patterns and similarities around your existing customer base.

Step Two: Survey your existing customers:

Ask them:

  1. Why did you come to me?
  2. What problem did you have?
  3. Why did you pick me out of any other business out there out of all the competition?
  4. What value did you get from our interaction?
  5. Did you feel the pricing was good or bad?

Surveying your customers and asking them questions like this will provide you with a ton of data on your value. And you can use the exact same verbage from your existing customers to speak to your perspective customers which is fantastic.

Step Three: Brainstorm

Now if you don’t have any customers yet, don’t worry. Your 3rd step is where you would jump in on brainstorming.

Start thinking about things like:

  1. What do these people need?
  2. What is this imaginary audience that I’m serving?
  3. What do they actually need from me, not what do they want? So for example they need their toilet fixed as opposed to having, say, a cheap bill, right?
  4. So what do they need?
  5. What are they curious about?
  6. What kind of questions do they need answered before they are ready to lay out their cash?
  7. What are they ready for?
  8. Maybe they are not ready to lay out cash, but are they ready for a call with you?
  9. Are they ready for an assessment?
  10. Are they ready for an e-book?

When you start to gather that information together, you get an idea or an “avatar” of who your prospect is.

And the demographic information may not necessarily be the same, but if you get the psychographic information together around what their needs are and who they are or what their personality is like, then that will give you an audience to speak to.

Step Four: Check in with yourself.

Then go ahead and reflect on if that feels right to you.

I know this may sound a little bit airy-fairy but if you already have existing customers, think about the ones who are most profitable that you love to work with. And contrast those with the ones that are a bit of a pain in the hiney.

You want to focus, where-ever possible on working with people that make you feel good and generate profits for you.

Step Five: Test and Refine

And then lastly, test. So you have this hypothesis now on who your target market is, go out and try and market to them and see if that works. And then look at the data that is provided through Google Analytics or any Social Media reporting tools and refine accordingly.

And so that’s how you figure out who your target market is. It’s a bit of a trial and error, a bit of science and a bit of gut-feel.

And if you liked this One Minute Tip, please don’t hesitate to subscribe to my channel. You’ll get a new tip in your inbox every single week. If you found this valuable, please consider sharing with your network. And thank you for joining me on how to identify who your target market is. Wasn’t that easy? That was easy!

The 7 Step Guide to Managing Negative Customer Feedback: A case study in consumer fraud, social media & the power of reviews.

If you’ve ever been the recipient of a bad online review of your business, you may find yourself frustrated by the apparent lack of control we as entrepreneurs have over things being said about our business – especially if they’re not true.

What proactive steps can you take to protect your business, and how do you best handle a peer review gone wrong?

1. Adapt your mindset.

The worst thing you can do is tell yourself this article isn’t relevant to your business and click away.


We need to adapt in order to survive and thrive, and today’s consumers have more power than they’ve ever had to affect our success.
70%  of Canadians online trust consumer reviews. (BDC, 2013)
Negative sentiment can go viral, quickly – as exemplified by the Applebee’s social media nightmare – and can be very difficult to manage.
Understanding the change in buyer behaviour and accepting that it’s not going away, frees you up to take in the following information to help protect your business.

2. Get informed:

Increasingly Canadian consumers such as you and I, rely on the web to make our purchasing decisions.

social media

1. Canadians spend on average 2.5 hours a day online; on social media, watching videos, & researching products and services. ComScore, 2014
2. Nine out of 10 consumers claim to use their smartphone for pre-shopping activities BDC 2013
3. 70% of Canadians online trust consumer reviews. (BDC, 2013)
None of this is particularly surprising.
The widespread adoption of web connected smartphones is not a new phenomenon.
In fact many older and wiser of us lament the pervasive nature of these devices and their impact on social connection –  and more practically – our ability to walk down the street without literally running into people distracted by their smartphones.

social media
Beyond being a mildly irritating obstacle to efficient walking, this change in how we as a culture interact has widespread implications for today’s business owner.

The constantly connected state of today’s consumer – specifically – your customers – means your customers shape your brand’s reputation.

Customers and the public at large (reasonable and otherwise) can seriously impact your ability to acquire new customers and maintain your reputation.

3. Know that negative sentiment goes far beyond review sites:

You may have heard of “reputation management” in the context of managing reviews of your business, or even been approached by a less than integrity based business offering you positive reviews of your business, for a price.

But beyond the formal review channels, people can leave negative sentiments on your Facebook page, in response to a post on social media…and almost anywhere else on the web.

4. Start listening:

Google your business name to see what comes up. You may be surprised at the places it’s listed and what people are saying about your company.

If you are surprised, it’s a sign to implement some practices internally to start monitoring your company’s reputation.

You can either manually conduct a search regularly or implement an automated solution to alert you immediately of any new conversations about your business.

Here’s a handy list of 5 tools to help you monitor your online reputation from Social Media Examiner.

5. Address any and all reviews.

You may be tempted to ignore bad reviews or complaints, but believe it or not it makes you look worse if you don’t reply publicly.

Here are 5 tips to responding to reviews from Google My Business.

Tips for responding to reviews

Business owner responses allow you to build relationships with customers, but they’re also public. When replying to your customers, keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • Be nice and don’t get personal. This isn’t just a guideline–it’s also a good idea as a business owner. It’s difficult to win an argument with a frustrated customer, and you want to avoid burning bridges. Keep your responses useful, readable, and courteous. In addition, responses should comply with our local content policy.
  • Keep it short and sweet. Users are looking for useful and genuine responses, but they can easily be overwhelmed by a long response.
  • Thank your reviewers. Respond to happy reviewers when you have new or relevant information to share. You don’t need to thank every reviewer publicly, since each response reaches lots of customers, not just one.
  • Be a friend, not a salesperson. Your reviewers are already customers, so there’s no need to offer incentives or advertisements. Tell reviewers something new about your business, or share something they might not know from their first visit.

6. Go above & beyond:

The tone and speed of your response to a bad review is where you can really make or break your reputation.
In this CTV news clip, I was asked to comment on what appears to be a fraudulent sale of goods by a household brand.

This would never have become a news story if the response to the customer’s complaint on their facebook page hadn’t been a canned response to call their 1 800 number – where the customer didn’t get a response.
In the case studies above, with Winners & Applebees, both responses to the negative sentiment were woefully inadequate and appeared completely disingenuous.

Because customer sentiment can so powerfully and permanently affect your reputation, if you are in the wrong (like I believe Winners was ) you need to go above and beyond-
1.Get the customer’s information
2. Make an effort to get in touch with them right away.
3. Work to resolve the issue to their satisfaction
4. Once you get agreement on a solution, ask if the customer will then update their post with details on how you came through for them.
5. Going forward – work with your social media manager to create a policy for addressing unhappy customers in a way that shows you actually care.

7. Be proactive

By actively soliciting positive reviews- and incentivising your customers to do so, you can combat any negative and unfair reviews with a steady stream of positive reviews.

Copy and paste this templated email and send out to all your happy customers;  ( just replace the links with your Facebook & Google Plus page links before you send )

Dear customer,

Thank you so much for your business.

Please- tell us how we did!

Would you be so kind as to post a review for me on my Facebook page or my Google page?

I really appreciate you taking the time to give me your feedback!

Find your ideal customers on social media with these 3 tips

social media marketingToday we are going to answer Jeff’s question, who writes, “What are three tips for finding the right customers on social media?”

That’s a great question. And if you are wondering that yourself, keep reading for the answer.

Identify your ideal customers:

If you know who your right customers are, you’re two steps ahead of many of your competitors.

The next step is to typify them in an archetype or in a demographic.
So for example, maybe your customers are typically affluent women in their thirties and forties.

Now you have concrete data you can use to research what social networks that particular demographic uses the most.

In this case of our example, that would be Pinterest. Doing a little bit of market research in the beginning will help you create the bare bones of a social media strategy and save you a lot of hassle and time making mistakes through trial and error.

Identify target location:

The second thing to do to find your ideal customers on social media, is narrowing your target down to a geographic area. Again, this provides you with a concrete benchmark, from which you can conduct more market research.

Specifically, there are hashtags that are used for each specific geographic area. Do a little bit of research and find out which are the most popular ones for both your geographic location, as well as the interests of your demographic so you can capitalize on their interests by getting involved in conversations about trending topics and more.

Pay for it:

Another thing you can do to get in front of your ideal networks is advertise.
The social media networks we participate in have amazing data collected on all of us. Thus, they’ve got very specific demographic information available for you to advertise and get in front of an audience that maybe isn’t part of your existing community.

Solicit Reviews:

The last thing that you can do is solicit referrals and recommendations on all your social media properties by having people endorse you. Endorsements not only provide new customers with a level of trust that you’re a reputable business, but this activity also provides exposure to your recommender’s network, who are much more likely to buy from you than a total stranger.

How have you found your ideal customers on social media? Share with me in the comments below.

And, if you found this valuable, please consider sharing with your network!

You can also watch this one minute tip as well as others on our Youtube page!

Your questions answered: Can social media actually drive sales?

social media marketingToday’s question comes from Kevin who writes, “Can social media actually drive sales?”

That’s a great question, Kevin. If you’re looking for the answer for this, too, then keep on reading.

1. Social SEO

First of all, social media absolutely does drive sales because a lot of social media sites—Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest & Linkedin— show up on Google search results.

In fact if you have social media profiles, you can search your company name on Google right now and see that not just your website, but almost all your social media properties display on that first page of Google.

In the same way, customers searching for what you sell can see your social media profiles on the first page of Google. The trick is search optimizing those social profiles properly; using keywords, hashtags and mentioning your local service area.
In this way, you get exposure to folks who are actual, qualified prospects to buy your products or services.

2. Social Proof or Implicit Endorsements

The second thing is a presence on social media, as well as building an active engaged community, acts as social proof.
Simply put, most people make their buying decisions based on what other people are doing.

By having people on your social platforms engaging with your business, you are receiving implicit endorsement from them. This behavior, along with a consistent look and feel and recently updated information shows that you’re a credible business that people can trust.

This helps buyers through the part of the sales funnel, or buyer’s journey where they’re evaluating companies to make their purchasing decision. They can then omit businesses that don’t display social proof.

3. Buy Buttons on Social

And lastly, a lot of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are now offering a “Buy Now!” button directly in the newsfeed.

You can sell products without having to make your customer leave the actual social media site. So in that way, social media definitely can drive sales. The buy now button is available through the advertising options from each platform.

Has social media helped you drive sales? Share with me in the comments below.

Sharing is caring!  If you found this valuable, please consider sharing it with your network.

3 Tips to Grow and Enrich Your LinkedIn Network

building-your-linkedin-networkHaving a strong LinkedIn network is very beneficial to your professional career. It can help you land a job, learn new things and make new connections that you never thought would be possible. Although many professionals have a LinkedIn profile, many are still not taking full advantage of the social network. The following are three proven ways to grow and enrich your network on LinkedIn:

1. Go to Events & Take People for Coffee (Add people in the moment)

The most fundamental way to grow your LinkedIn network is also the most old school, but going to events gives you a chance to meet unique individuals with many different backgrounds. Instead of bombing out random add requests on LinkedIn, make real human connections first, before adding anyone. Once you’ve made the initial interaction, consider taking the new connection for coffee. Even if the individual doesn’t work in your field, bring a list of random questions as there is still likely something to be learned or another networking opportunity may present itself. An under-utilized strategy for events and coffee meetings is bringing out your smart phone and adding people with the LinkedIn app on the spot. That way you won’t forget, or have to remember cards or emails.

2. Engage with Your Network (comment, like, share, endorse or recommend)

Similar to all other social networks, you cannot expect anyone to engage with you if you aren’t engaging first. More active members of your network will likely share original composition posts which are great for commenting on with your thoughts, or sharing the post with your network. These posts will allow you to get your profile out to more people, in a shorter amount of time. Less active networks will share trending articles, memes, videos or inspirational messages and liking or commenting on these types of posts will show your support for the author but it can also open up the opportunity for other LinkedIn members to see your profile and connect. If you’ve worked directly with a connection for some time, consider endorsing one or a few of their skills and if you’d really like to show your support, write a personal recommendation. These are all ways to ensure your profile stays active and relevant.

3. Share Original Content

Once you feel comfortable with the size and engagement of your network, it’s time to start
sharing original content. The best way to share your ideas is with LinkedIn’s publisher feature. Don’t focus on the length so much as the content on the page. Write about topics you have first hand experience in and do your best to provide real world value that can be applied by anyone who has the drive. Adapt your content overtime as you may notice that some topics tend to be more popular than others. Interviewing a colleague or friend is a great place to start if you can’t come up with any unique ideas to write about. If you already have some writing experience, you can use these posts to showcase your knowledge, expertise or unique skills, all of which will show well to your network.

In a world where “who knows you” is often more important than “who you know” growing and enriching your LinkedIn network can take you a long way professionally. With a few simple steps, you’ll see your network grow exponentially and over time the engagement will increase and the possibilities for the future will be endless.

“There’ll always be serendipity involved in discovery.”
– Jeff Bezos

Tweet like a Rock Star – 3 tips for easy Twitter Marketing

marketing campaignSince its genesis in 2006, Twitter has become a global stage that anyone can step onto, grab the mic, and sing to their own audience. Thanks to the potential for easily reaching such a wide array of fans, it has become an integral part of most small business marketing campaigns today.

The only problem is, with so many voices vying to be heard, how can you make sure you don’t become just another brick in the wall?

Being middle-of-the-road means getting drowned in sound, your voice left unheard along with anyone else who only seems to sing for themselves. If you want to get noticed, you have to leave the world of MOR, and concentrate on leaving people wanting MOAR.

This means escaping the road to nowhere and learning how to tweet like a rock star. By following these three simple tips for your Twitter marketing campaign, you’ll soon be well on the way to headlining your own gigs.

Plan your setlist

The best rock concerts are the ones where it seems anything can happen. Of course though, the band do know exactly which songs to play and in what order to hold the show together.

In much the same way, the tweets you send out as part of your marketing campaign can be prepared, put down into a list, and scheduled to automatically go out in sequence and at specific times.

By using a service such as Buffer or Hootsuite, you can easily schedule a whole list of tweets that will be sent out whenever you choose. The benefits of this are twofold, giving you more free time by allowing you to schedule all of your tweets for the week ahead in one session, while also ensuring they are sent out at optimal times, when more people will see them.

Collaborate with your peers

Going solo is a career move that has worked for many rock stars, but doing so on Twitter is one of the worst strategies for your marketing campaign.

Giving a shout out to people, be they your fans or people in the same industry, will make them like you a whole lot more as they appreciate the effort you put into acknowledging or promoting their content too.

Every time you mention somebody or re-tweet their post, they’ll receive a notification, which gives you a chance of being mentioned or re-tweeted in return, with the latter being a big deal if they are a bigger influencer or have a wider audience than yourself.

Perhaps more importantly than receiving reciprocal Twitter activity however is the fact that by appearing in their notifications, you are keeping yourself at the forefront of their minds, which is the best place to be for your marketing campaign.

Hold live shows

As recently as a few weeks ago, Twitter acquired and launched Periscope, a live streaming video app that is looking to add a major string to the social media giant’s already impressive bow.

Downloading and installing the app will allow users to stream and view live videos on their Twitter profiles, increasing the options for creative new ways to bring your marketing campaign to your growing audience.

The live streams also take up more screen real estate than text-only tweets and engage the user for longer than a single image will, helping your content and name to stick in the mind for longer.

For a marketing campaign to have the desired results, standing out from the crowd on Twitter is a must. By following these three tips, you’ll open the doors to tweeting like the rock star you’ve always wanted to be.