What are the greatest concerns for marketers now

I guessed number one correctly. See if you agree with this Hubspot post – updated to reflect 2016 business marketing research.

7 of the Top Marketing Challenges Marketers Face Today

Every marketer faces different challenges. Although we typically share similar goals, some teams are stuck on hiring top talent, while others are having trouble finding the right technology for their needs.

Whatever the case may be, there’s always at least one area that you can stand to improve. In other words, there’s always room to optimize the various components of your strategy and turn your marketing into an even more effective revenue generator.

Curious about what kinds of obstacles other marketers are up against?

To learn more about the challenges marketers face today, download the free 2016 State of Inbound report here.

We polled thousands of marketers on the challenges they face, as well as the tactics they’ve used to meet those challenges head-on. Here are some of the most common challenges marketers reported struggling with … and their solutions.

The Most Common Marketing Problems We Face, According to the 2016 State of Inbound Report

According to our report, generating traffic and leads and proving ROI are the leading challenges marketers face. Here’s a look at this year’s data:

SOI_blog_X-Top-Challenges-1.jpg

Image Credit: The 2016 State of Inbound Report

Let’s go through each of these top challenges and how marketers can address them.

Read the rest HERE

Written by Lindsay Kolowich | @

Outstanding free tools you need to know about

The amount of tools and information available for marketers, entrepreneurs and those bootstrapping a business is wonderful but it can be overwhelming to keep track of everything you might use now or down the road.

After creating a comprehensive list of essential free tools for Entrepreneurial Marketing students, (available HERE) one did a little extra research and found an incredible list of just about anything you might need. Big shout out to these folks – it is a terrific resource and pretty well organized for everything from business, marketing, design & code, and productivity to learning.

Click HERE for the list.

Don’t forget to visit the list of free marketing tools on this site.

Enjoy – and if you have any questions about which tools I’ve used and might be best for you please contact me or leave a comment below.

Picasso and the Napkin or: ‘Be a Consulting Pro, Not a Consulting Ho’

Upon first reading this, a Silicon Valley episode (spoiler alert!) came to mind. In it, Richard, an entrepreneur, and his team are prospecting for investors and meet one particular group that seems very interested and excited about everything they have to share. A few days later they decline to invest and instead take all the useful information they gleaned from Richard’s team and use it for themselves to develop a saleable product. BTW – the series is extremely funny and highly recommended. It’s just not so hilarious when it happens to us IRL.

The information we gather and learn as professionals is valuable and perhaps the advice below is a little cynical. Unfortunately, more often than not, it also holds true. Read on.

Originally posted on Carol Roth: Tough Love for Business


Please Don’t Ask to Pick My Brain

Cafe workingThe working title of this post was “Be a Consulting Pro, Not a Consulting Ho.” I can argue that consulting might have come before what is generally considered to be the world’s oldest profession. And we are renting our bodies, too – our brains.

Yes, fellow brain-renters, people pay us for our knowledge and expertise. It’s an intangible, but often quite valuable. They pay us for the things we have learned over the years. They pay us so that they can save time, save money, save aggravation, etc.

There is a famous (possibly apocryphal) story about Picasso and the napkin drawing where someone in a café asked him to draw a picture on a napkin. Picasso then asked a large sum of money for something that took him a minute or two to draw. He justified the price by saying it took him 40 years to be able to draw it.

Did you just have an “ah-ha!” moment? I did when I first heard this story.

Honestly, as much of a consulting pro as I am (having worked as a solo consultant, project employee for the mid-tier firms, and full-time employee for three of the former Big Five), I still struggle with this.

I do understand that you want to get clients and, sometimes, it is easy to just give it away. Especially if you really enjoy doing it. Helping people develop business strategies is like eating popcorn for me – I love doing it and I can’t stop myself.

Ways to give it away

If you know you are giving too much away, here are some suggestions:

  • Create an “office hours” time on your calendar and have a way for people to book that time with you or join you on a conference call line or Google Hangout.
  • Develop some kind of assessment offering that is easy for you to do and valuable for your prospect. Give it a special name so it sounds important. Create a few time slots that you dedicate to providing this. Make sure people know that it is a good way for both of you to see if there is a fit for you to work together more.
  • Create a webinar that you give periodically that people can sign up for. This will have reusable content so it won’t take a lot of your time after the first time you give it.

Ways to make them pay

Here are some things to try if you are having trouble saying no.

  • Make people pay a small amount so you weed out the real tire kickers – maybe $15-30 for 15-20 minutes. You can even add this to your services page with a link to book you for that.
  • Create a low-cost webinar so that people are getting good information, but you aren’t spending a lot of one-on-one time. This way, they get used to paying you for your knowledge.

Ways to avoid coffee dates

So, what do you do about the dreaded “can I buy you a cup of coffee” request? Honestly, I mostly try to redirect that to a short 20-minute chat, unless they are a very close friend, possible business partner, referred potential client, or Bradley Cooper.

This sounds snotty, but I lose three hours of my day meeting for coffee between getting ready, getting there, having the meeting, and getting home. You need to be pretty interesting to get me to do that.

You also could direct them to the free ways to work with you mentioned above.

Ways to avoid premature proposals

Consultants start to get excited when a prospect asks for a proposal. We think that means that the prospect is serious, and that they might actually hire us.

Here’s the thing, proposals take time – often a lot of time. And you may give away too many ideas too soon.

To avoid premature proposals, try the following:

  • Get the prospect to clearly articulate their need or exactly which of your services they are interested in to solve which of their problems. Clarity is key here to avoid having to send a second proposal. Also, try to confirm that they have a budget to avoid a giant time suck.
  • Have the prospect complete some sort of detailed intake form or survey or inventory. Making them do something that takes time will weed out some tire kickers. They think their time is valuable, although they may not particularly value your time.

As you can see, there are specific situations where it makes financial sense to give them a quickie, as you have a good chance of acquiring a long-term client.

What should you do with the obvious tire kickers, freebie junkies, and entitled who think they don’t have to pay for your hard-earned knowledge?

I recommend you tell them what I do, “No, you can’t pick my brain.”


Original post is HERE

The Ultimate Guide to 150+ Google Analytics Resources for 2015

Originally posted on KISSmetrics.

Are you ready to get the most out of Google Analytics? If so, we’ve collected the ultimate guide to over 150 Google Analytics resources you can use, including the top official Google Analytics channels, Google Analytics integrations, tools for Google Analytics, and articles about Google Analytics.

Official Google Analytics Channels

Stay up to date with the latest Google Analytics news, and get support when you need it via these official Google Analytics channels:

  1. Google Analytics Blog – The official Google Analytics blog for news and features updates.
  2. Google Analytics Help Center – The official Analytics Help Center where you can find tips and tutorials on using Google Analytics and answers to frequently asked questions.
  3. Google Analytics Developers – The Google Analytics developer platform provides access to the resources used to collect, configure, and report on user interactions with your online content.
  4. Google Analytics Product Forums – Use this group to ask and answer questions, search for existing answers to questions, discuss this product, and meet other Google Analytics users.
  5. Google Analytics Academy – Improve your Google Analytics skills with free online courses from Google.
  6. Google Analytics Training & Certification – Educational resources for users of Google Analytics and those who want to become Google Analytics certified professionals.
  7. Google Analytics Partners – Whether you need the help of an implementation or analysis expert, or you are looking for a turnkey solution for your business, Google Analytics technology and certified partners are ready with a solution.
  8. Google Analytics Solutions Gallery – This solutions gallery contains in-product solutions (such as dashboards, custom reports, and segments) to deepen your use of Google Analytics and accelerate your learning curve. Whether you’re a newbie or guru, they will help you learn more about your data through the power of Google Analytics.
  9. Google Analytics URL Builder – The URL builder helps you add parameters to URLs you use in Custom Campaigns. Then, when users click on one of the custom links, the unique parameters are sent to your Google Analytics account, so you can identify the URLs that are most effective in attracting users to your content.
  10. Google Analytics on YouTube – The official channel for all videos about and related to Google Analytics. Learn more about Google’s web analytics and online advertising products.
  11. Google Analytics on Google+ – Follow Google Analytics on Google+ for the latest news, tips, and trends from the Google Analytics team and friends.
  12. Google Analytics Academy on Google+ – The Google Analytics Academy provides a foundation for marketers and analysts seeking to understand the core principles of digital analytics and improve business performance through better digital measurement.
  13. Google Analytics on Facebook – Community page for Google Analytics. Please keep discussions on-topic. For customer service inquiries, please contact Google directly.
  14. Google Analytics on Twitter – News, tips & trends from Google Analytics.

 

Read the rest of the listicle HERE.