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Mind The Gaps and How a Latina Entrepreneur Saved Her Family Business

Mind The Gaps and How a Latina Entrepreneur Saved Her Family Business

Have you ever had to hop over a puddle of water?

This simple act to avoid getting your feet wet is something we’ve all experienced. But there are some people that don’t hop over.

They jump in!

Both feet, right in the water, splashing water everywhere with a big smile on their face.

That’s what it feels like to see opportunity and seize it.

The same thing happens in the buying process of any product or service, we all go through some process. From problem/need and all the touch points on the way to solution/purchase. Through this process, there are often gaps and we are forced to make mental leaps or be keep researching to finally get to your product.

That’s where you find the gold.

The space in between all the tiny decisions we make along the way to have our problems solved.

One of the first questions I always ask my clients is, “what are all the questions and steps your customer goes through until they get to you?”

In that gap you have two primary opportunities:

1) Get in the path of your prospect

2) Develop new products that fill that gap

Put Yourself In Their Path (Know Thy Customer)

By identifying the decision-making process of your customer you can target those decisions directly. A simple and effective way is writing content that answers questions that naturally lead to your offering.

Then you can easily use Google AdWords to advertise directly to those asking the question. In other words, you’ve put yourself in their path.

Seize Opportunity with a New Product (Fill The Gap)

Latina entrepreneur Bricia Lopez did exactly this by reworking her father’s failing family restaurant and developing a line of high-quality mole (Mexican gravy) that is sold both online and grocery stores.

She was able to identify two gaps. After a customer left her restaurant — the ability to take home the flavor; and the desire for the growing Latino middle class to have new and higher quality food products.

You can read the full write up about Bricia Lopez here:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/viviannunez/2017/02/08/this-latina-created-two-successful-brands-by-spotting-gaps-in-niche-markets/

How To Mind Your Gap

There are two ways you can quickly identify your market’s gaps.

First, begin by developing your FAQ.

Gather all those questions customers ask you. In these questions, they are telling you exactly what problems they have and how they’d like them solved.

Second, what products and services are your customers buying before they get to you. There is an opportunity in there for either new product lines or strategic relationships with other businesses to offer your solution.

At the end of the day, it’s always the same, identifying problems and offering solutions. We can just be a little more strategic about it.

Juan Mirelez
Founder & CEO

juan mirelez

How Artificial Intelligence May Automate Prejudice in HR

How Artificial Intelligence May Automate Prejudice in HR

What does a Human Resources AI look for in candidates?

Recently I read an article about the coming wave of Artificial Intelligence to help screen candidates for human resource departments.

Since I do professional coaching I talk to job hunters about navigating all the filtering systems you encounter in the process. The most common being Applicant Tracking Software (ATS).

Which is the reason most candidates’ resumes are never seen by a human.

It’s easy to view HR AI as just taking ATS to the next level. Allowing a deeper filter that doesn’t just filter out resumes, but individual responses to question, body language and speech patterns.

From Interviewed‘s co-founder: “It’s now beginning to automate the assessment of what cofounder Chris Bakke describes as “softer skills,” by using computerized analysis to identify speech patterns among, for example, empathetic individuals.”

Where we fall in the gray zone, and the question we need to ask ourselves is, are we automating bias?

As with all systems of scale, they are designed for compliance and conformity. Based on speech patterns alone this can easily lead to filtering immigrants, minorities, and poor people.

When you grow up in an impoverished minority community you tend to have different speech patterns from middle-class white America.

Call it ebonics, Black-American vernacular or whatever. If you’re from a poor colored neighborhood on the Southside of Chicago, you probably grew up sounding different from your average corporate America employee.

I can’t tell you how many friends I’ve known over the years that still have touches of our local dialect from the hood. Even though they eventually went on to college and completed a degree.

They are professionals but are branded by their undesired American accent.

For most people working in corporate America, such issues don’t affect you much.

Yet when we create systems that limit upward social mobility for those that have to work three times harder just to get out of poverty, we are going in the wrong direction.

juan mirelez

Juan Mirelez
Founder & CEO

Read original article: https://www.fastcompany.com/3062995/mind-and-machine/how-ai-is-changing-human-resources

Always Go For The Joy (Have You Made A Sale Today)?

Always Go For The Joy (Have You Made A Sale Today)?

For every sale you miss because you’re too enthusiastic, you will miss a hundred because you’re not enthusiastic enough. -Zig Ziglar

Have you made a sale today?

Have you prospected as many people, businesses or organizations that you need in order to meet your income goals?

If you are stuck in your business and not sure what to do next; then you know what to do next. Go make a sale and get a win. There is no greater impetus to success, motivation and inspiration than making a sale and the confidence that comes with it.

DON’T GET DISTRACTED BY THE NOISE

There are an endless stream of marketing strategies and tactics.

With new technology coming out almost daily that claim to revolutionize some aspect of marketing. Not to mention the ten daily podcast you need to listen you. The new entrepreneur self-help book. The free webinar that will increase your profits by 1,200%. And the absolutely essential, last online course you will ever need… and don’t forget the seminar.

Now I’m not saying these things aren’t important or valuable. Obviously they are and I’ve spent countless hours and dollars on all of these things. What I’m saying is you need to remember that in business you always have one singular priority — make the sale.

No matter how altruistic, socially responsible or how much artistic integrity you may have. At the end of the day you need a transaction to take place. You need money to transfer from a person(s) to you; and you need your product/service/inspiration to transfer to that person.

It’s very easy to get distracted by, well, everything. All the external noise that claims to be the solution to our problems. Or the internal noise and sometimes lies we tell ourselves.

Self awareness is your greatest weapon in cutting through all the noise of the world that is in your head.

YES, YOU REALLY ARE A SALES(WO)MAN

I meet a lot of very interesting people. Oftentimes they have this magical blend of passion and ideally compassion. Unfortunately this mixture that creates so much power and drive can create a lot of self deception.

That you aren’t one of those people that are just out to make money. Or what I hear most often, “I don’t like sales”.

Selling is not inherently bad. Unfortunately there are a lot of those ‘sharks’ out there that leave a bad taste in all of our mouths.

Broken down sales is simple and can be very beneficial. It’s as easy as 1,2,3:

  1. Present a solution to a problem
  2. Give the result (solve the problem)
  3. Have someone that is satisfied with the result

That’s it. You are in the solutions business.

More importantly, now matter what you offer to the world. Your ultimate goal is to make that person happy.

Sure it may not seem that way when you’re pushing pens with business logos on it. I’ll tell you what though; when I got my first bit of branded stationery I was elated.

Seeing my company’s name printed on pens and paper somehow made everything feel more real and grand. In that moment, I experienced some real joy.

Always go for the joy.

juan mirelez
Juan Mirelez – Reluctant Salesman

Image Attribution: Viktor Hanacek


empower your marketing

Why You Should Always Lead With Benefits (What’s In It For Me?)

Why You Should Always Lead With Benefits (What’s In It For Me?)

As I peruse the internet seeing the latest offers, sales pages, opt-ins, and Nigerian prince’s emails I can’t help but notice a clear lack of benefits in their offerings. Sure it has an unending features list of what is can do. But what’s in it for me?

Why don’t these websites lead with benefits?

When it comes down to it, is lazy sales pitches. It’s a whole lot easier to generate a laundry list of what a product can do instead of figure out how it solves your problem. I would even go so far that before you create the product or service you identify the problems and only offer what directly solves those problems and brings about the most benefit to your client or customer’s life.

When you start your sales pitch, be it a sale page on your website, a sales letter, marketing video, or newspaper ad start with the goal in mind and lead with benefits. Take the highest view and the end result and work your way backwards. Essentially you are catching your prospect with their own strongest desire.

Let’s look at a couple of examples of how you lead with benefits from one of our own sales pages.
Because I very much believe in practicing what I preach.

We Follow Our Own Advice

lead with benefits

This is from our budget websites sales page.
Notice the headline:

Get Your Website Fast Without Breaking The Bank.

The end result is presented first and with clarity.

[Get Your New Website]

If you made it here you must be in the market to get your business online and need a website or have an old one revamped. Why waste time with overly clever one liners. Get in there with the results and benefit and get in there fast!

Let’s take a look at a single action inducing word:

[Fast]

By adding a time frame of some kind you create a sense of immediate action and result can be taken by the potential client.

Now we have the crux:

[Without Breaking The Bank]

This product is specially designed to be a low cost professional solution for getting your business online. You are hit with the obvious result and benefit within the first line.

What is the problem?
I need to get my business online, and I don’t want to spend $2,000 on an over priced design firm to do it and still not know if the website produces any real results.

Solution
Get Your New Website Fast Without Breaking The Bank

We don’t end there though. We know you are a local business in the market to get a new website and not be over charged. Since most of us small business owners count our pennies you do this for one reason only. To get you more local customers. Other wise why go through all the effort and spend your hard earned money?

That is what comes on the second line:

Let us help you get more local customers

Now if you don’t read anything else on the page and the truth is most won’t. You know you can get a new website, quickly, without being overcharged to solve your most pressing problem as a business owner which is getting more customers.

Ok enough blatant self advertising let’s look at some another example.

Western Union Does It Right

western union facebook ad

Just loaded up Facebook to take a look at what others are advertising. I have to say I really like this Western Union ad.

Headline :

[Western Union Now $1 Fee!]

Obviously this is targeted to those that already know what Western Union does (money transfers). Which is tolerable when your brand is synonymous with the action.
You are immediately presented with a new benefit of a lower cost $1 Fee.

[Be Their Joy!]

They then employ emotion, which is an incredibly strong selling tool. Since if you are sending money there is usually a strong need to do so. Anchoring this to the good feeling you will have lays the foundation for a positive result and ties back into Western Union.

[Send money online in minutes, now starting at $1 fee at westernunion.com]

You can now get this good feeling of solving the problem and having a good feeling, easily, right now, and you even save money doing so.
That is all result and benefit in action.

Unfortunately most of the ads I see on Facebook just present the product and hope that magically I happen to want exactly what they are selling when I glance at the ad.

Good luck with that guys.

juan mirelez
– Juan Martin
Founder & Benefit Orientated Bloke

Featured Image credit: epSos.de, via Wikimedia Commons

Black Friday Marketing Ideas

Black Friday Marketing Ideas

2 days left until the biggest shopping day of the year and the Black Friday marketing ideas begin to fly. The dreaded Black Friday where prices get slashed, profit margins dwindle, and customers’ inhibitions disappear. The truth is I think the only ones really able to make money on Black Friday are the largest retailers. They have the data and analytics to know exactly where they can give deep discounts and still pull a profit. Let alone their buying power!

Then what can we as the small business owner do without cutting our own throat alongside our prices?

Black Friday = Massive List Building Opportunity

If you have to compete in a volatile place of deep discounting get the customer on your list. Pen and paper or digital, it doesn’t matter. (It kinda does, but right now it’s not the priority) Make the customers pay for that discount with themselves! It has been proven time and time again that people are more willing to buy from you if they have done so before.

vintage black friday

Why not help them along that process with a sequential online or offline mailing?

Now, at the very minimum put up a sign by the heavily discounted product that say something like:

Regular Price $150
Black Friday Price $50

(signup for newsletter at checkout for discount)

Then have a pad of paper with name, address, and email at checkout. That’s it. You can really go nuts into all kinds of complex methods but this is a bare bones, last minute, let’s at least get something out of this Friday solution.

That’s it for today’s Black Friday Marketing Ideas, if you want to learn how to setup a sequential mailing list through your website so you can take your marketing to the next level and make more money, give us a call at (312) 521-0820.

juan mirelez
– Juan Martin
Founder & Avoider of Shopping Crowds

Featured Image Credit: tshein

What Is Search Engine Marketing and Why You Need It

What Is Search Engine Marketing and Why You Need It

Search engine marketing, otherwise known as SEM is a marketing tactic designed to allow your customers to find you by getting your website seen by Google and other search engines. This is the blanket term used that includes things like SEO (Search Engine Optimization), SMM (Social Media Marketing), PPC (Pay Per Click), and any other new acronyms that will inevitably come out.

There are a number of different way that this is accomplished. The most common being SEO, or search engine optimization. This is a complex every changing subject but I will try and give the essentials.

Traditional SEO places specific keyword data into each page of your website. Optimizing the content on your website to match that keyword data. Then going out into the internet to build links back to your website. These keywords are found by doing an analysis of your market’s search habits.

Basically knowing exactly what your customers are searching for. Then making your website match that. Finally getting other websites to recognize you so Google feels your site has strength and what’s called authority or relevance.

what is search engine marketing

It sounds amazingly simple, and at its core it is. It’s the execution of this fundamental plan that is not so easy.

After we have our standard SEO in place and our website has been optimized to be found. We have paid advertisement campaigns. Usually referred to as PPC (Pay Per Click). This can be done with Google AdWords, Bing Ads, on Facebook, or any of the various online ad networks.

With PPC campaigns you have keywords that are identified through using some kind of keyword analysis tool like Google Keyword Planner (free). Or more robust keyword research tools like Long Tail Pro. Then then amount you pay per click is based on a big you place for those keywords. The more competitive the keyword, the more you should expect to pay.

Finally we have SMM or Social Media Marketing. Obviously SMM uses sites like Facebook and Twitter. This is huge topic I will cover in the future. It is a mixture of things like content marketing, ppc and social engagement. The key to remember here is that just throwing money on social media is not the answer. Social is truly the keyword here. SMM gives you the opportunity to engage directly with your customers. Creating not just awareness but insight into the people that are buying from you directly from them.

So what is search engine marketing? It’s knowing what your audience wants and then giving it to them. That’s it. That and all the over technical stuff in the middle! At the end of the day we want results. A fully functioning marketing plan ensures that all the engines of the plane are working. Search engine marketing gives us the essential insight in getting the most out of the internet to grow our businesses.

Tell me what’s been working for your business in the comments below!

juan mirelez
– Juan Martin
Founder & Lover of Google

Featured Image Credit: Nick Ares