#Smallbizchat Podcast LIVE is a monthly video interview show where small business owners can get answers to their questions.
The focus of #Smallbizchat is to end small business failure by helping participants succeed as your own boss.
M. Shannon Hernandez is ALL ABOUT THAT JOY in life and biz. She is the Founder of Joyful Business Revolution™, a business growth strategy and consultancy company that works with brick and mortar or online service-based business owners. Shannon and her team specialize in joyful business growth solutions and organic marketing that help their clients grow aligned audiences and deepen community relationships, resulting in more joy, more revenue, and more time off. She is specifically known around the globe for The Content Personality® Wheel. Shannon has been featured on CBS, ABC, FOX, and NBC. She has over 25 years in award-winning curriculum design, working with both the NFL & U.S. Military. She is a master trainer and teacher. When she is not teaching, she’s spreading joy and funding projects that impact the world and its people. For more information: https://joyfulbusinessrevolution.com/
SmallBizLady: Why does my marketing feel so hard?
M. Shannon Hernandez: I hear this question A LOT. There are typically two things that consistently make marketing hard.
First, your messaging is weak. Cloudy. Inconsistent. Hasn’t been “pr0ven” to be effective–yet you just keep publishing content and hoping for different results. It’s downright frustrating and draining!
It’s important that your messaging is laser focused on WHO, WHAT, and WIN.
- Who: Who are you aiming to reach? I can guarantee that whatever answer you provide, we can dial that down even SMALLER. This is called niching. You may have heard, the riches are in the niches? This is absolutely true! If you are talking to everyone, you are talking to no one.
- What: What is the most urgent problem of your target customer? Note: This is not what you THINK their problem is. Or what you KNOW their problem is. This is WHAT THEY THINK their problem is. As experts, we know that what they often think their problem is NOT their problem.
New customers often say my colleagues and I: “I need more clients.” That’s what they think their problem is. Now, we know that there are lots of things that are contributing to their low client numbers. First, they usually have not niched enough. Second, they don’t know how to speak (messaging) in terms of what their clients think their problem is. So, they go about their marketing saying what THEY think their ideal clients need, instead of speaking in the language of the client.
- Win: What’s the quickest win you can give your potential new client? They have a problem; you have a solution. Don’t cloudy the waters here. Give them a win and keep building the relationship with them! They will trust you and sing your praises!
Second, I can almost bet you are in too many places doing too many things. Did you know that you can simplify everything by understanding your Content Personality®? This is your innate way of communicating and marketing. Your Content Personality® type also will give you clues as to the ONE social media platform that is best for you.
SmallBizLady: How can I simplify EVERYTHING in marketing, so that it gets results—and I get my life back?
M. Shannon Hernandez: We teach a very simple 3-step process to grow your business:
- Learn how to use your Content Personality® to deliver your message. This includes picking the one social media platform that matches your Content Personality® and growing deep relationships with your community.
- Get your email marketing working for you! Business owners who think long term know that owning their own contact data is a true measure of sustainability, and that means you actively make growing your email list part of your quarterly plan.
- Use your blog to publish long-form content that provides insight and showcases your expertise. Your blog is a huge component of your SEO and business success.
SmallBizLady: What is mission-driven marketing—and why does it matter now more than ever in business?
M. Shannon Hernandez: Mission-driven marketing is rooted in engaging creative campaigns, that helps you grow aligned audiences and build deeper community relationships. We define an aligned audience as prospects who align with your message and want to be part of your community! Oftentimes, they love what you stand for and have a problem that you can solve.
This type of marketing is quite RARE–and can help YOU stand out. When you design creative, multi-media campaigns, experiences and events these touchpoints allow your community to go DEEP with you on things that matter to your mission and to your work in the world.
These multi-week campaigns help position your MISSION and what you stand for, in a way that captures the hearts and minds of your community, so that you build and deepen long-lasting relationships. Creative, mission-driven campaigns re-engage your list/community, oftentimes shortening the buying cycle, and center causes that are important to you and your mission.
Financial Planning for Small Business Owners
Curtis May has been a financial planner for over 35 years. He is the creator and owner of Practical Wealth Advisors (PWA) and host of The Practical Wealth Show Podcast. The primary focus of his financial planning firm is to help individuals and families become financially free by following the principles of wealth creation that have endured for centuries around the world. He believes that while long-term planning is important, everyone has current financial needs they need help with. His unique program helps clients find money they often don’t realize they’re losing and apply it to a wealth-building strategy that complements their long-term goals and current lifestyle needs. Curtis teaches people that their number one financial asset is their knowledge. The more they know, the lower their risk and the greater their chance of success over time. For more information: https://www.practicalwealthsolutions.net/
SmallBizLady: Why is traditional financial planning advice not good for small business owners?
Curtis May: Traditional financial planning advice teaches you to send money away from your business, and away from the things you know, own, and control. Putting money at risk hoping the stock market goes up.
SmallBizLady: What is the best kind of retirement plan for small businesses?
Curtis May: I don’t like any of them. They are all government-based plans. We don’t teach people to retire. We want them to be financially free. Financial freedom is a capability that means you have passive income from either business assets or your assets that match your income so not working is optional. So that’s a different focus than figuring out if should I put money in a SEP, IRA, or solo 401k. All that’s bad financial planning designed for regular people, not for business owners.
SmallBizLady: Why is liquidity the key for small business owners?
Curtis May: You need access to capital to invest in your number one asset. And your number one asset is your business. If you put $1 into your business and your business makes $2, that’s a 100% return. So, I advise my clients to have liquidity, so they can use and control their capital. If you have the ability to buy or build cash-flowing assets, you will always be about to protect your business. COVID proved this, my business owners were way too cash-strapped, and they need to have more money personally and business-wise than they think they need to have. So, we teach people to have 6 to 12 months of liquidity.
High Touch Selling in a High-Tech World
Phil Gerbyshak is a sales expert, keynote speaker, and author with over 20 years of experience in sales and marketing roles. Throughout his career, Phil has worked with and for various companies including BNP Paribas, BambooHR, Morgan Stanley, UBS, Strong Investments, Robert W. Baird, and many others. Phil has gained a deep understanding of sales strategies and techniques, working in sales, as a sales consultant, and a sales coach to drive adoption and top-line revenue. He emphasizes the importance of high touch selling, building strong relationships with clients, and providing personalized service, while also understanding the importance of technology in modern sales. For more information: www.philgerbyshak.com
SmallBizlady: Isn’t high touch selling in a high-tech world contradictory? Don’t you have to be one or the other?
Phil Gerbyshak: Nope. They’re actually complimentary. Use the technology to create a higher touch and a deeper meaning.
SmallBizlady: Don’t I need to send out 100s of messages a day, post a ton to social media every day, and send out an email newsletter every day?
Phil Gerbyshak: Absolutely not. It’s all about quality over quantity. By being laser focused on who you serve best and what problems you solve and why they want to or should want to work with you – and why they shouldn’t – you can focus your outreach to those who have already bought from you and those most likely to buy from you.
SmallBizlady: You coach and teach service over sales. How does that make you any money in today’s high-tech world?
Phil Gerbyshak: If you’re not a person with any usefulness, you’re never going to make any sales. You have to show up and be valuable to those you want to serve every day, and then make an offer. Even if all you do is send out coupons and ask people to buy something, you still have to educate or entertain them. Look at all of App Sumo’s emails. They are all about buying software at a low price. But their emails are fun. They’re engaging. They’re educational. And they sell. You can do the same, only you don’t have to do it every day.
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