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Every solo business owner has a set of processes or systems that either promote their business very well or contribute to the business’ demise. There are really 3 essential systems that any successful business owner needs in place in order to automate the things they repetitively do over and over again, while adequately supporting the brand. These systems form the structure of success because they are the ways in which you continuously reinvigorate your business for expansion and growth.
What is a system? For purposes of this article, we’re going to define a system as follows: a set of integrated, interdependent processes that can be replicated over and over again to produce similar results.
This article is designed to explain the 3 critical brand support systems for real breakthrough in your business. These essential systems are key to ensuring your success and creating a structure on which your brand can thrive.
It all starts with the BRAND.
Before we cover these systems, let’s talk about brand first. As a solopreneur in the “entrepreneurial renaissance” age – a coin termed by business coach, Marcia Bench, you will have to compete against many people who claim expertise in the same field as you. Regardless of their level of experience or visibility, the sheer numbers require that you carve out a way to stand apart from the crowd. Your brand must be distinctive, powerful and recognizable.
The brand is the foundation of any effective marketing strategy. It is how people perceive you. The brand is YOU in a single owner business. If your brand is weak, the systems I will describe below will not operate to support your business. An analogy would be like building a new house, installing a beautiful kitchen, hardwood floors, and hiring a dynamic salesman to greet buyers at the door when the house has no walls yet.
The support systems we will talk about in this article will allow you to deliver great service, they will engage your customer base, and they will automate your delivery but only when you have taken the necessary steps to first put in place your brand strategy.
This means getting clear about what you do, the market you serve, and how you provide the service. Brand support is most connected to the latter – the “how”.
System #1 – Prospect Engagement
Brand support system number one is about the way in which you engage your leads. This is the process by which you create a path of attraction to your business. It’s the way that you make it easy for prospects to meet you, to love what you do, to test drive your services. This might look like your current opt-in strategy. Or it may even be the type of events you host that attract people to your business.
Creating an easy path for prospects to engage is critical to building your pool of interested buyers. As a system, this path should be outlined in such a way that you can powerfully reflect your brand with ease. The goal is to create a connection between you as a solution provider and the potential client, or prospect.
What is evident when you view an entrepreneur’s website is whether or not there is an easy way to determine your next step. Successful entrepreneurs are clear in the single action they would like for a viewer to take when visiting their website the first time. But unfortunately too many business owners fail to streamline the instruction for their prospect. There is no opt-in form. There is nothing “sticky” about the page that keeps a person there, so viewers leave after only visiting a few seconds.
One example of a way to engage customers that capitalizes on the way they first interacted with you is to create a social media landing page. This blog post by visibility guru Nancy Marmalejo tells you how to do this: http://vivavisibilityblog.com/social-networking-landing-page/.
There are other ways to engage your customer or prospect. One of the most widely used ways is to develop a strong opt in form. A blog post by marketing diva Ali Brown shares great insight into how to make this work for you: http://www.alibrown.com/blog/?p=722.
The key to customer engagement is to entice prospective buyers within the first few seconds so they can receive your valuable information.
About the Author: Tanya Smith is a Faculty Member at Workplace Coach Institute, Inc. and is the instructor for the Personal Branding for Coaches. She is a creative business strategist specializing in showing coaches, consultants and freelancers how to spend more time making money with simple, yet profitable marketing systems.