Tag Archives forconsistency

Customer Life Journey Introduction

Customer Life Journey Introduction

Having a Customer Life Journey in place with all of the right elements will build your business.  It will strengthen the relationships between you and those that connect with you.  In this podcast article I will help you understand the 8 stages to a solid Customer Life Journey.

Over the last few weeks I've been sharing about branding and how important that is to your business. Making sure that the visual brand becomes, in a sense, iconic and a strong way to recognize your business is crucial. Then we went into messaging and consistency. Importance of your messaging is across the board, where your messages go, how often they go, and the “attitude” written or recorded. Consistency in your messaging will help build your audience.

Communicating with potential customers and clients, as well as your existing base while being consistent keeps them looking to you for support, info, tips, because they feel you have a relationship with them. Visuals added to your messaging are a big part of building that brand. Are they cartoony all the time? Are they direct pictures looking more realistic? Once you have chosen that image style/look, staying with it keeps the expected look together and is part of your consistency.

Let’s talk about your client/customer life journey. Business leaders refer to the time clients and customers are involved with a company in several different ways. Customer life journey is one of them. Customer life cycle, customer journey, and the funnel flow are others. A variety of visual representations also represent paths of direct marketing options your clients/customers travel as part of your marketing plan.   

Some paths are linear. Some are visually attractive.  In some cases, boxes with arrows lead prospects in specific directions and some of these are circular.  I’ll share my personal preferences I prefer to call this relationship a customer journey because journey is something we can all relate to. I will refer to a customer journey for these trainings.

The journey of life is ongoing.  Our experiences are part of this journey. Sometimes we are rewarded, and other times life gives us stuff we're not so happy about, but it's all a part of a journey along a path. I like to think of that game, Chutes and Ladders for a visual.

If you remember the board game (or you can look it up), the chutes took you downward to lower levels along the board, and ladders would take you up to the next level. The goal is to make it up to the top. So, for me, it's a customer journey that resembles a Chutes and Ladders board game concept.

There are eight basic stages that fulfill a progression through your business for your ideal clients and customers. Below I have defined each of the stages.

Stage One: Awareness 

Begin by bringing awareness to your company and your brand. This stage is referred to as collecting leads or building your list.

Stage Two: Engagement

This is where you want to talk to your people. You want to engage them in conversation through the written word. This might be on a social media platform, an email, a text message, or a video spot where you're asking questions or giving your prospect information about you and your business meant to engage their thoughts.

Stage Three: Subscribing

Your goal at this point is to encourage them to subscribe; to want to be connected with you and want to know more from you. Subscribing is simply the act of your prospect saying yes, I want information from you on a regular basis. They're usually opting in for a free gift, or a free event or download. Sometimes it’s a general opt-in. They share an email address and any other contact information you request in your form. Delivering on Your Offer: Once a prospective client or customer subscribes, you deliver on the offer or promise in exchange for them giving you, their details.

Stage Four: Become a Customer

Now that a prospect is subscribed, you should set up follow-up messages, and then give them a paid offer or an entry point to becoming a paying client. Usually this is a low point offer to see if they will exchange money for information or products from you. When this happens, you have successfully converted a lead into a customer! Congrats! Don’t be discouraged if this does not happen within your first offer email or “suggestion” email. Remember, emails get buried – wording might not click right off and so on, but find a way to stay connected with your new lead by sending content emails and then rotating them with offer emails, so you don’t look like all you care about is getting their money.

Stage Five: Maintaining relationships and keeping them excited about you

Once someone makes a purchase, a lot of people end their customer’s journey right there and forget about these paying customers. Please do not make this mistake!

Keep your paying clients and your customers excited: excited about you, excited about what you're doing, excited about them and their progress within your community.

Be excited about whatever people purchase from you. Continue the conversation and engagement. Share how to use your product or service and maybe offer some secret tips for it. You know, things like that. You want to excite them and support them – this will lead to their having faith in you and your products AND will lead to the next purchase because you've already converted them into a loyal customer. You want to lead them through the customer journey.

Stage Six: Ascension – Repeat Customers

Take them to the next level of engagement with you.

At times this might mean upgrading their membership or up-selling or introducing the next higher priced product. This process is no different than grocery stores, retail outlets or even Starbucks does. Does this sound a bit familiar… you'd like your cup of coffee? Great! Would you like a Danish to go with that?

They're up-selling you; they're taking you into something else the next level.

Many product/program selling companies do this. It's called Ascension. You're helping them ascend to the next level as a customer and then you continue working with them. You're repeating the journey process with new offers and excitement cycles. This process allows you to build rapport and encourages your clients/customers to continue to invest into your programs/products and services and then they become advocates.

Stage Seven: Testimonials/Rave Reviews

There might be 20 people who teach the exact same programs or offer similar products, but you are you! Everyone offers their own take and others won’t talk like you, teach like you, nurture like you. You want them to believe you are the top dog in your arena of expertise. You want your customers to love you.

If you're being true to who you are, it is creating that world where you can be real and authentic all of the time. That becomes what people will connect with. They'll become raving advocates of and for you. At this point you should be asking for comments, testimonials, reviews and letting them know how much you appreciate them.

Stage Eight: Create an Affiliate Program

At the eighth stage, promote your business. Maybe you have an affiliate program, maybe you don't, but encourage clients to spread the word. You know, like, Hey, I ate at such and such restaurant last night it was awesome. We love to share good experiences and good products with others – get your customers to be your spotlight by treating them right!

So as you can see, there are multiple steps within the customer life journey. Be very, very clear about each step and what happens as your leads become customers.

Everybody wants to matter. In my future podcasts I'm going to go through and break down each of the eight steps I discussed and offer tips to make sure you're including them. I hope you enjoyed this podcast!

If you have any questions or need any feedback on what you've been doing, I'm happy to speak with you. Give me a call or contact me. All the information is on this page.

I invite you to go over to StrategiesForSmallBusinesses.com and download the Branding and Purpose Checklist. This will help you work through the questions you need to answer and really helps you have a focused dive into all of your Branding.

If you have any questions, remember we're always here for you. Just utilize the question button on the website and will get back to you.

Thank you

if you want more from Strategies For Small Businesses, #SFSB, stay connected by subscribing to our list and connecting in Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sfsbagency 

We’d love to work with you in building your support team, whether it's SFSB or another company. We specialize in working as part of a team and building those relationships.

We look forward to hearing from you so you can work with an expert to help you grow your business!

To gain access to more free strategies for small businesses, or to stay connected, visit our website at StrategiesForSmallBusinesses.com. Connect with us on Facebook. https://web.facebook.com/sfsbagency

If you have any questions, need any support, or you need any ideas, feel free to reach out to us on the form provided HERE. We're here to support you.

2. You can also use the button and set up a quick call with me. It's absolutely free. I'd love to talk with you if you have questions about anything.


The biggest thing to make note of and always remember is this: don't hesitate to reach out when you need support! You don’t have to do it all alone, or become an expert on every working item, marketing plan, nurturing cycle, and tech piece in your business. Focus on your clients and get help with the rest!

Connect with us on Facebook as well: 
https://www.facebook.com/sfsbagency

Hiring An Expert, #SFSB Episode #4

Hiring an Expert

Hiring experts to support you in your business is important BUT how you work with them is vital to it's success!  Avoid some of these simple mistakes....

Welcome to the Make It Happen podcast, brought to you by Strategies For Small Businesses, #SFSB, and Christina Littrell-Williams, lead master tactician. My team and I have been working as online marketers for over a decade supporting entrepreneurs as they grow, achieve goals, and even surpass them. We love what we do. It is our intention to give you something you can take away from every episode; an idea, a sense of encouragement, a new tool, and/or answers to any questions you might have submitted to the team.

I want to talk to you about hiring an expert. 

There are several opportunities to hire experts for support. Maybe it's an auto mechanic, or a construction worker to build our homes. Or sometimes it is somebody to help us in our businesses.

Let me ask you a couple of questions... 

questions on hiring

Do you hire a mechanic to then turn around and tell them, “This is the problem, this is what needs to be done, these are the tools you need to use, and this is how the job needs to be executed?”

OR

Do you take your car into the mechanic shop to get the diagnostic report, and then listen to their recommendations for necessary next steps for maintenance or repair? Do you then approve the plan to implement the fix?

Same thing with building a house or any type of construction project. Do you walk in and tell the contractor what to do and how to do it?

My guess is you don’t do that.

You're paying 1,000s of dollars to have those experts do what they do best. Some have gone to school for what they specialize in and in a lot of cases are licensed. Many have been trained intently while being in the trenches and staying up to date on requirements and best practices.

You let them do their jobs.

When you hire an expert for your business, do you do the same and tell them how to do their tasks? Do you respect them for their knowledge? Did you research them well enough to have confidence in what they're going to do for your business? Do you test their skills by giving them a project and letting them run with it so you can see what the results are? 

This is critical, whether you are hiring an admin assistant, a virtual assistant, a social media manager, a marketing strategist, or a branding expert. The list goes on and on.

Working with entrepreneurs and small businesses at SFSB, far too often they tend to tell us what they need, how they need it, and how to go about making it happen.

hire an expert

My advice to entrepreneurs and small businesses is this. When you hire experts or subcontractors, it's important to evaluate the relationship first. The same is true when hiring employees.

Do you trust them? Have you researched them and feel confident enough to say, okay, I'm going to give them a try?

Do you put an agreement in place to work on one project together and see how that goes? Also, do you look at how you communicate with each other?

Are you really a match?

hire a team of experts

Sometimes, small business owners and entrepreneurs will hire people just to have somebody there. They say to themselves, I've got to have this person. Everybody's working with them, or oh, this person had them or, hey, I just need a warm body to do this, but I know it all and will just tell them what to do.

For the most part, people are looking for employment because they want to do something they love (or are looking to love). They want to make a difference and they would like to be valued for their contributions to your business success.

Make sure you're hiring the right people to support you and your business.

It really makes a difference in the way your business moves forward. You want to build up your team with praise and trust not tear them down by making them feel like they are not valued or respected for their services.

Having a strong sense communication is a must! Make sure your intended results for tasks are understood. There might be more than one way to get there, and your support person might not use YOUR way, but their way works just as well, or even better. Trust that! 

As SFSB works with entrepreneurs and small businesses, part of our Marketing Support includes working with teams already in place, or in some cases we help to put a team in place if needed. We have trained many business owners in processes to work with their support teams so everyone is having the best time they can, and relationships remain harmonious.

hire a group to work together

If you have any questions or need any feedback on what you've been doing, I'm happy to speak with you. Give me a call or contact me. All the information is on this page.

I invite you to go over to StrategiesForSmallBusinesses.com and download the Branding and Purpose Checklist. This will help you work through the questions you need to answer and really helps you have a focused dive into all of your Branding.

If you have any questions, remember we're always here for you. Just utilize the question button on the website and will get back to you.

Thank you

if you want more from Strategies For Small Businesses, #SFSB, stay connected by subscribing to our list and connecting in Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sfsbagency 

We’d love to work with you in building your support team, whether it's SFSB or another company. We specialize in working as part of a team and building those relationships.

We look forward to hearing from you so you can work with an expert to help you grow your business!

To gain access to more free strategies for small businesses, or to stay connected, visit our website at StrategiesForSmallBusinesses.com. Connect with us on Facebook. https://web.facebook.com/sfsbagency

If you have any questions, need any support, or you need any ideas, feel free to reach out to us on the form provided HERE. We're here to support you.

2. You can also use the button and set up a quick call with me. It's absolutely free. I'd love to talk with you if you have questions about anything.


The biggest thing to make note of and always remember is this: don't hesitate to reach out when you need support! You don’t have to do it all alone, or become an expert on every working item, marketing plan, nurturing cycle, and tech piece in your business. Focus on your clients and get help with the rest!

Connect with us on Facebook as well: 
https://www.facebook.com/sfsbagency

Register to get your Branding and Purpose Worksheet

Staying Consistent, #SFSB Episode #3

Staying Consistent


Let's talk about consistency!

Welcome to the Make It Happen podcast, brought to you by Strategies For Small Businesses, #SFSB, and Christina Littrell-Williams, lead master tactician. My team and I have been working as online marketers for over a decade supporting entrepreneurs as they grow, achieve goals, and even surpass them. We love what we do. It is our intention to give you something you can take away from every episode; an idea, a sense of encouragement, a new tool, and/or answers to any questions you might have submitted to the team.

Consistent

Consistency seems to be one of the consistent problems across the board with my clients and most business owners in general.

They want to market their services or products and they see all these different ideas, opportunities and tools to use to make it happen.  They have big ideas … I'm going to do this and then I'm going to do that then the next “marketing bright shiny object/idea” comes in and they are I'm going to do this; I'm going to do that and nothing gets done to create any foothold on their audience.  Sure, they start something, but it seems to be short lived. They lose interest quickly OR they get “too busy” to continue it. They become inconsistent with their efforts and then they lose a lot of potential revenue, a lot of followers, and a lot of people in their tribe/community who have been distracted by a competitor.

Consistency across the board is huge in your business success!

Let’s focus on marketing here.

What is consistency when it comes to marketing?

When you’re planning to market your services/programs/products, you want to do it on an expected path and outcome for your followers, your tribe, your community.

You want to do something that they can expect and that they can count on. Especially if you are providing content that is helping others in a guiding or training manner.  You want them to be wanting more from you. You want them to be looking for you because of the value you provide. (Side note, we will be discussing content and what is TOO MUCH vs JUST ENOUGH in a later episode). Consistency is how you infiltrate their busy lives by making it convenient, because they know when to expect things and where to best get it from you just by you being consistent.

Let’s focus on marketing here.

What is consistency when it comes to marketing?

When you’re planning to market your services/programs/products, you want to do it on an expected path and outcome for your followers, your tribe, your community.

You want to do something that they can expect and that they can count on. Especially if you are providing content that is helping others in a guiding or training manner.  You want them to be wanting more from you. You want them to be looking for you because of the value you provide. (Side note, we will be discussing content and what is TOO MUCH vs JUST ENOUGH in a later episode) Consistency is how you infiltrate their busy lives by making it convenient, because they know when to expect things and where to best get it from you just by you being consistent.

consistent marketing

A lot of times, we'll have clients go, I'm going to do a podcast, I'm going to do a blog, I'm going to do it every day. We will sit with them and lay out just what those plans look like, and we tell them, you know, that's great, that's going to be amazing! Then we ask them, but can you keep it up? And show them their projected Marketing Calendar based on their idea.

When you're planning your marketing, always keep in the back of your head and tell yourself, I need to be consistent with this. I can grow but I never want to decrease what I'm doing in my efforts (unless it is not working, and we will discuss evaluating what is working and what is not in a later episode).

You want to create a marketing plan calendar and plug in what you’re looking to do and overlay that on your daily business calendar.  Look at it honestly, is your newest plan something that fits into your schedule and do you have the available time to get it done?

consistent ideas

Then put it through the test of asking yourself, is that something that I can follow through on?

Like a blog post, if you are looking to supply rich content to your followers, your community and to attract other people to you, then you're going to want to be consistent.

You're going to want to do a blog every day when you start out but is that realistic for where you are right now?

Doing a blog/article submission is a great idea, and you might want to say let me start out with a blog maybe one every other week. Once I have the flow going, I can add to that delivery plan and give more.

Podcasts are amazing, they're fun, your listener gets to hear your personality, and they get to learn the tone of your voice. They get to connect with you on a completely different level. You have the ability to deliver a podcast in video format as well as audio, as well as a written post like we do, and your audience gets to consume the content on the platform they enjoy. You also end up with three different platform submissions with one piece of content.

consistent content

When you're planning also plan be consistent!

When we have clients that want to do something short termed and not be locked into a rigorous schedule but want to make sales, we will work with them to produce/services flash sales. Those are short term, you're looking at a week to two weeks tops, on putting out something for a quick marketing venture. These will have an educational set of emails/posts/blogs on a specific topic guiding to purchase the program/service/product that will solve the problem the audience has, and the marketer has the solution for. When that flash sale is done then content creation for the most part can slow back down to a daily routine of just being “seen” in the virtual world.

Flash sales are easier but then you want to set up your consistency in these too. Once a quarter, maybe twice a year. Maybe it's just New Year's, what is that for you and then you stay consistent.

The more you build that foundation of what your followers, your community, can expect from you, the stronger they're tied to you.

When planning any marketing ventures make sure you’re also planning to be consistent.  Be sure your daily calendar is updated with blocks of time on it for ALL parts of your life - personal and professional then create a marketing calendar that will not only list your expected “release” dates but also the production days needed to complete that task and overlay them.  Give it the test by asking yourself, Can I Do This and Stay Consistent?  Or ask yourself, is there someone that can help me get this done and stay consistent?

Sending you much success!

consistency calendar

I invite you to go over to StrategiesForSmallBusinesses.com and download the Branding and Purpose Checklist. This will help you work through the questions you need to answer and really helps you have a focused dive into all of your Branding.

If you have any questions, remember we're always here for you. Just utilize the question button on the website and will get back to you.

Thank you

if you want more from Strategies For Small Businesses, #SFSB, stay connected by subscribing to our list and connecting in Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sfsbagency 

We LOVE questions so please feel free to use one of the two modes within this website to reach us!

If you have any questions, need any support, or you need any ideas, feel free to reach out to us on the form provided HERE. We're here to support you.

2. You can also use the button and set up a quick call with me. It's absolutely free. I'd love to talk with you if you have questions about anything.


The biggest thing to make note of and always remember is this: don't hesitate to reach out when you need support! You don’t have to do it all alone, or become an expert on every working item, marketing plan, nurturing cycle, and tech piece in your business. Focus on your clients and get help with the rest!

Connect with us on Facebook as well: 
https://www.facebook.com/sfsbagency

Register to get your Branding and Purpose Worksheet