Author Strategies

The Biggest Marketing Mistakes Businesses Make

Donna Lynn Price has seen it all. The founder of Compass Rose Consulting, Donna has been helping businesses with their marketing for over __ years, and has seen so many businesses waste their time and money with their marketing efforts. In this month’s SkillBites Show, Donna talked about four of the most common mistakes businesses make and how you can avoid making them.

The first mistake is trying to implement marketing tactics without a complete strategy. When you undertake different tactics without a strategy, you are unlikely to get the results you are seeking. Developing a strategy consists of the following elements:

  1. Identify your goals or what you are looking to accomplish;
  2. Identify your target audience and their needs;
  3. Determine how the services or products you offer meet those needs;
  4. Review the different ways to inform and engage your audience of how you can solve their problems; and
  5. Determine the marketing tactics that will be best for accomplishing your goals and engaging your audience.

The second mistake businesses make is not having a suitable call to action. This is the action you want your customer to take as a result of coming across your marketing message. For instance, if you have an ad in a newspaper that provides a description of your services and your contact information, you might get some calls, but most people won’t call after seeing a newspaper ad. You need to build a relationship first, to provide something of value so that your prospects get to know, like and trust you. So you might want to offer a free consult or a free eBook that helps them overcome a challenge. You’re much more likely to get people taking action when you offer something of value.

A third mistake is not having a follow up plan. Let’s say you offer a free consult, and you start getting calls. If you haven’t planned out what you’re going to say on those calls, you will probably not be as effective in getting those prospects to the next step. Or maybe you have offered a free eBook. You ought to think about what you want them to do next, and what you can do or say to get them there. You might want to develop an email campaign to go to those who have downloaded your eBook. If they don’t purchase the product or service you are offering, perhaps you could offer to sell them a service or product that is lower in cost, or some different product you offer.

A fourth mistake businesses make is not measuring the effectiveness of their marketing. You should identify how many calls, downloads, click thru’s or sign-ups you are expecting. If you aren’t meeting your targets, try tweaking your marketing and see if you can make it more effective. Maybe people are clicking through, but no one is downloading your freebie. So then you know your email message or Facebook ad campaign or whatever you’re using to drive people to your landing page is working, but your landing page isn’t. Without measuring the effectiveness of your marketing, you won’t know when or what to tweak, or when to change to a different tactic.

Donna provided a lot more marketing tips during the show, which is available to listen to by clicking here. She also has some great resources on her website, Donna has offered a free copy of her eBook, Yes! Marketing Works, which can be accessed at, and has offered a 20% discount on her services to the SkillBites community. Just enter the code SkillBites at checkout. Finally, Donna is offering a free marketing review when you contact her at or 973-500-8054.


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Communication Chiropractic™ – Get Your Communications in Alignment

In the pursuit of leadership excellence, communication skills are often over-looked and yet they are foundational to our success.

Have you ever felt that someone’s words and body language were not in sync? You may have been guilty of this yourself. Robin Miller, COO of ARTiculate: Real&Clear is a communication coach who helps executives and business leaders align the elements of their communication for greater impact. As our guest this month on the SkillBites Show, she explained how we are often not even aware that our non-verbal behavior could be in conflict with our verbal message. For instance, if we say to a person we are just meeting “pleased to meet you”, but our arms are crossed, we are sending a mixed message. Crossed-arms generally implies that you are guarding yourself, or you appear to be not approachable, which doesn’t jive with the phrase “pleased to meet you”.

Robin reviewed some other non-verbal signals that were surprising to me. When you cross your legs, that’s an indication that you may not be feeling confident or comfortable with the person standing across from you in the conversation. When you put your hand in front of your mouth, that’s an indication that you may be trying to hide something or that you’re not giving all of yourself, and aren’t fully trustworthy. One finger over the mouth may also be an indication that someone is trying to withhold what is on his or her mind at the time.

Where you sit in a meeting makes a difference. If you sit with your back to the door, you cannot see who is coming and going. The individuals who can see the door are in high status positions in the room because they can see who is coming and going from the room.

Robin related the story of a woman who was feeling as though she was being judged by the other attendees. When Robin asked her where she was sitting in her meetings, the woman stated that she sat to the left-hand side of the leader, audience right. The person to the audience right of the leader will be watched more closely because it’s natural for people to visually check-in with that person while they are listening to the leader. If you want to be noticed in meetings, sit to the left-hand side of the meeting leader and if you would like to be low key, sit away from the meeting leader.

When talking to people on the phone, your message will come through more enthusiastically and with more vocal variation if you involve your entire body by standing, moving around and using your hands to speak just as you do when you are talking to people in person.

Another quick tip is to remember that when giving a presentation, past to present to future moves from the right to the left. The presenter needs to use their right hand to go from right to left, because this will help the audience “see” past, present and future. Similarly, you should move on the stage from right to left for past, present and future. Robin coaches speakers on many aspects of their communication effectiveness including how to use breathing, pauses and pitch to enhance their message.

For a Communication Self-Assessment to see how your communication is aligned, email ARTiculate: Real&Clear at with Communication Chiropractic Survey in the subject line.

If you are interested in communication and leadership coaching, you can reach Robin at or 303-868-3889. ARTiculate offers a complimentary 15-minute consultation on how you can be a better communicator.


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The Power of Mobile Marketing

How many emails do you get every day that you delete without even opening them? If you’re like me, you probably delete at least 50 emails per day, even though you may have signed up to receive many of them. According to Bob Bentz, our guest this month on the SkillBites Show, roughly 80% of emails get deleted without being read. In contrast, 97% of text messages are read, and are read almost immediately as soon as they are received!

Bob is President of Advanced Telecom Services, which has been in business since 1989 and has offices in Philadelphia, Toronto, London, and Prague. One of Advanced Telecom Services’ companies is Purplegator, which provides everything mobile marketing from apps development to SMS text message marketing to mobile advertising. Bob is also an adjunct professor at the University of Denver where he teaches the graduate level course in mobile marketing in the Communications department, and he is the author of Relevance Raises Response: How to Engage and Acquire with Mobile Marketing.

Bob explained that there has never been a marketing medium that is better suited for small businesses, particularly those with local clientele. Virtually everyone has a cell phone, keeps it on them and checks their phone constantly. Moreover, even if someone moves, they keep their cell phone number forever, unlike landline numbers or even email addresses. With the immense amount of information available now about one’s prospects, a small business owner can laser target their text messages to their ideal prospects. There are programs that can determine where someone is, and can send text messages out to those who are within a few blocks of your restaurant or store. Similarly, these programs can send text messages to people who are searching on the web for a product or service that you sell, or who have mentioned something on social media that pertains to your business.

To start with, you need to have your website optimized for mobile. If a prospect goes to your website on their phone and your site doesn’t look good, they probably won’t buy from you. Then you need to collect people’s cell phone numbers. You can do that a number of ways. You can have a promotion on your website or in your marketing material for anyone who provides their name and mobile number, such as a discount, or buy one get one, or a free consult or eBook. You can have a radio or print ad that if someone texts to a certain number, they’ll receive something.

Once you have built a database of mobile opt-ins, you can use online SMS marketing tools such as PromoTXT ( or to send broadcast text messages to your customers. There are lots of steps to these SMS messaging campaigns, so it’s not something you want to tackle yourself. A key part of the campaign is determining the right keywords to have in your message. Another key aspect is the message itself – your message should be valuable and exciting, so people want to continue opening messages from you.

Bob advised that just like most marketing efforts, you can’t expect immediate results. You need to plan at least a 6-month campaign and keep at it every day to attain significant results. Bob discussed in depth various other mobile marketing tactics besides SMS text marketing in his book, which is available at or on If you want to contact Bob, he can be reached at 610-688-6000.


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Ask and You Shall Receive

What if you could wave a magic wand and get your biggest problem resolved? In this month’s SkillBites Show, Nancy Dunleavy, CEO and founder of Dunleavy & Associates, and imminent author of Exercise Your Ask Muscle: the no-weight workout with proven results, showed us how we can magically overcome obstacles. The magic, however, isn’t from a wand, but comes from asking for help when you need it.

People are generally willing to help others out, and yet most people don’t ask for help. This could be because asking for help is perceived as a sign of weakness or vulnerability. Many of us were taught at a young age to be independent and work things out ourselves, and asking for help conflicts with this ingrained culture.

When we do ask for help, we invariably improve our situations. Whether it’s guidance that we seek, or financial assistance, or emotional support, getting help from others generally moves us forward and makes it easier for us to overcome challenges or achieve objectives. It is well worth stepping outside our comfort zone to learn how to ask for help.

Nancy suggested that we can become more comfortable asking for help by practicing with unimportant requests, such as asking others for a recommendation for a plumber or hairdresser. As you get more comfortable with asking, then you can begin asking for help in more important areas of your life. If you are willing to help others out, you will also improve the likelihood that others will want to help you out.

Nancy explained that helping others out often results in a very positive experience for the helper. For example, she told a story of how she was talking to a young man who was serving as an intern at a company for whom Nancy was about to give a presentation. Nancy learned that the man was looking for a particular type of job. During the presentation, Nancy asked the audience whether anyone had any connections that could help the young man, and 5 people raised their hands. The young man ended up getting exactly the job he was seeking, and wrote Nancy a wonderful letter of appreciation. The buzz that that letter gave Nancy was far greater than the minimal effort she expended to help him out.

Nancy loves connecting people, and was recognized as one of the top connectors in the Philadelphia area. She gets a huge energy boost from being able to connect people to others who can help them. Nancy shared 4 tips for improving one’s ability to be a connector:

  1. Be curious and ask lots of questions to establish a relationship;
  2. Be intentional about retaining the information you receive, such as by repeating the person’s name multiple times in a conversation;
  3. Be prepared with a few questions you can ask, such as “is there anything I can do to help you”, or “have you read any good books lately”; and
  4. Maintain a spirit of gratitude. Don’t look for ways the person you are helping can reciprocate, but rather offer to help them because that’s a nice thing to do.

Nancy has set up a database for collecting stories of people whose lives were improved by getting help from others, as well as those whose lives were improved by helping someone else. If you have a good story about being helped or helping someone else, you can email that to Nancy at

And you can look for Nancy’s book next month on, on or on her website,


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Becoming a Best Selling Author

Imagine applying for a speaking gig, or submitting a bid for a large contract, and including a copy of your book with an emblem on the cover saying #1 Best Seller. You are much more likely to get the speaking gig or win the award. But how do you get your book to #1? In this month’s SkillBites Show, we hosted Denise Cassino, who has taken more than 400 books to Amazon bestseller status.

Denise explained that a major difference between Amazon’s bestseller program and other bestseller programs, such as the New York Times’ program, is that Amazon is basing its bestseller program on internet sales, while the others are basing theirs on book sales in brick ‘n mortar stores. Most new authors, however, aren’t in book stores, in part because most book stores won’t accept self-published books or books published by someone other than a traditional publisher.

Amazon considers any book that sells enough copies to be within the top 100 top-selling books in a given category to be a bestseller. If a book sells more than any other book in its category over the span of even an hour, it is considered a #1 bestseller. The key is picking the right category. Categories that have many books that are selling well are much more difficult to become bestsellers in than other categories with fewer books selling lots of copies. As long as the category you choose is relevant to your subject matter, Amazon will allow your book to be placed there if you request it. Once you gain bestseller status in that category, you can change to a different category if you’d like.

Denise shared a number of tactics she uses to get books to bestseller status:

  • Conduct a social media campaign (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google Plus, etc.), using images, tweets, and hash tags
  • Optimize your book on Amazon with the right key words, categories and description of your book, and an appealing author page
  • Develop a landing page for people to buy your book
  • Send out an email blast to your mailing list
  • Do a Kindle Select free book campaign and/or a Goodreads free book contest

Denise has a special report available on her website called “Amazon’s Top Secrets for Optimizing Your Book Page”. To obtain a copy of the report, click here and provide your contact information on the sidebar in the right column.


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