2019 will be no different than previous years if you do not manage your time and redirect your focus on things that are truly important. As an entrepreneur who wants to build a profitable brand, how do you know what to focus on and what to let go? The answer is not set in stone, however, in this article, I share 5 things you should focus on if you want to build a profitable brand in 2019.

[Read: How to Stand Out in the Marketplace in 2019]

Focus on Your WHY

The number one thing that determines whether a business will stand the test of time is the “WHY?” Your “why” is the reason you started your business and ideally, it should be your driving force. However, if you are not deep-rooted in your “why”, it is very easy to fall off the tracks and start chasing shadows. As a business strategist and coach, I have found many instances in which business owners have completely forgotten their “why” and are daily focusing their attention on things that do not matter. For example, I have seen many entrepreneurs who worry so much about their competitors such that they completely forget why they are in business.

If you want to build a profitable brand, you must never lose the sight of your “why” so you can always stay on track.

Focus on Building Strategic Relationships

As a business owner who desires to build a profitable brand, building strategic relationships must be in the core of your focus. The success of your business rises and falls on the quality of the relationships you build over time. How do you build strategic relationships? You start by showing genuine interest in people and brainstorm on ways in which you can be of help. For example, when you attend networking events, do not let your conversation be centered around what others can do for you, let it be centered around what you can do for them. Offering to help is a powerful relationship-building technique that can help you and your business go from barely surviving to greatly thriving in no time.

[Read: How to Use Storytelling to Build a Profitable Brand]

Focus on Learning

One of my best quotes about learning is “if you are too big to learn, you are too small to earn.”

What you know has a direct influence on how much you earn. I have met many business owners who either show apathy toward learning or show no interest in updating their knowledge. If you truly want to build a profitable brand in 2019, you must focus your attention on learning as much as you can. Learn everything about the products (goods/services) you sell and the people you serve and watch how big of a difference these will make in your business.

Focus on Providing Exceptional Customer Service

Any business that lacks loyal customers will find out sooner or later that it is a bird without wings. What is the beauty in a bird without wings? The answer is, nothing! One way to gain loyal customers in a crowded marketplace is by providing exceptional customer service. Providing an exceptional customer service can be time-consuming but if you focus on it, it will yield unquantifiable returns for you and your business.

[Read: 3 Ways to Generate Passive Income]

Focus on Active Listening

One of the reasons why 70% of all small business fails within one year of start is because the owner lacks “listening skills.” If your goal is to build a profitable brand in 2019, you must focus on listening actively. Who should you listen to? You listen to your customers, employees or team members, coaches or mentors and even your peers. Active listening is a requirement for success. Active listening means that you listen to what others have to say with an open heart. It also means letting go of unconscious bias and giving others the opportunity to share with you from their perspective. Active listening is such a powerful technique that lets you hear not only what is being said, but more importantly what is not being said. It helps you with your strategy and simply positions you for success. Start practicing active listening today and watch your brand grow profitably!

Thank you for reading! Enjoying Onpoint Success’s posts? Be generous and share with others.

For two (2) years straight, I noticed a trend on social media where people were talking about creating vision boards. I was expecting the same trend this year but I didn’t see as much. It made me wonder whether people got tired of creating vision boards because they didn’t get the results or it’s just the normal human reaction of following the trend without having a deep understanding of what it is to have a vision board.

Have you created your vision board for 2019? I don’t know about you but for me creating my vision board is a non-negotiable exercise I go through every year. It’s non-negotiable because it is not something I give a thought and let it slide. It’s something I commit to creating whether I feel like it or not.

[Read: 3 Free e-Commerce Platforms to List Your Products and Grow Your Business]

What is a Vision Board?

A vision board is simply a board that contains your vision for a given period. It could be made with a foam board, paper or wooden board. Other items you need to create a vision board are markers/pen, sticky notes/paper, glue (optional) and magazine clippings (optional). The most important thing about a vision board is that it must reflect your vision, must be placed in a visible spot and must be straight to the point. Think of it as a guide that leads you to your destination.

Why Creating a Vision Board a Non-negotiable Exercise

Creating a vision board is a non-negotiable exercise because writing down one’s goals is the first step to achieving them. Once you create a vision board that you see daily, it stirs you into action. As you achieve major milestones, you are even encouraged to do more. Living life without a sense of direction is a disaster and one of the ways you can stay on track is by creating a vision board. When I started getting results with my own vision boards, I started teaching others how to do the same. The testimonials I receive from the people I teach are confirmations as to how powerful it is to create vision boards.

[Read: How to Standout in the Marketplace in 2019]

How to Create a Vision Board

Now that you know the importance of creating a vision board, it’s time to learn how to create one. Please note, there is no right or wrong way. The most important thing about a vision board is that the things you post on it reflect your end goals. Also, do not put too many things on your vision board. It is better to have six (6) goals that you can achieve than to have fifty (50) goals that you can’t achieve.

Here’s how I recommend that you create your vision board as a business owner. You do not have to follow it. You can come up with your own way. The most important thing is getting the vision board done.

  • Write down four (4) major goals you want to achieve in your business in 2019. Each one to be achieved by the end of every quarter.
  • Once you have those (4) major goals, create three (3) minor goals for each month of the quarter. You should have a total of twelve (12) minor goals for the entire year.
  • Each month has four (4) weeks, write down the steps you need to take per week to help you reach your minor goals for the month and then for the quarter.
  • Post your sticky notes or glue your cut-out paper on the board
  • Hang your board where you can see it daily
  • Bingo! You are done.

[Read: How to Use the Power of Mirroring for Retaining Customers]

The vision board is a simple exercise. It will give you a sense of purpose and even confidence. As the year goes by and you are able to see concrete ways in which you are making progress, it makes you want to achieve more. Please note, vision board though great, does not absolve you of the need to have solid plans of implementation. You need to have a detailed plan on how you plan to achieve your goals. Without a detailed plan, your vision board will be just another item that gathers dust n your space. If you create your vision board after reading this piece, you can send a picture of your board to info@theonpointsuccess.com

Thank you for reading? Have you created your vision board? What’s your experience like? Kindly leave a comment below and remember to share this post with a friend.


As a small business owner who wants to build a profitable brand, you need to constantly recharge yourself, so you can come up with fresh ideas to grow your business.

Recharging, however, can become a luxury you think you can’t afford especially when you are pressed for time. I am in those shoes myself and many times, I joke that I wish one day totals up to 48 hours.

While I am pressed for time, I also know the importance of recharging myself, so I can come up with new ideas that will help me grow a profitable brand.

Why You Need to Recharge Yourself

I remember growing up, there were brands I never thought would be extinct anytime soon. On the outside, these brands looked formidable but, on the inside, they failed to come up with fresh ideas that could keep them relevant. As a small business owner, if you fail to recharge yourself, you’ll sooner or later become irrelevant.

[Read:4 Reasons WhyYou Should Write a Books and 6 Steps to Take Before Writing One]

Steps to Recharging Yourself

There is no one way to recharging yourself and coming up with fresh ideas to grow your business. As a business owner, you must be willing to do a combination of things. The steps below are my suggestions, however, feel free to add more or pick the one(s) that suits you. The most important thing is for you to take a step.

  • Develop the Culture of Reading
  • Have a Mastermind Group 
  • Attend Industry Events
  • Hire a Brand Strategist

Develop the culture of reading

If I’m told to name one thing that’s instrumental in helping me to constantly stay relevant in my line of business, it is that I developed a culture of reading. 

Reading is important because it not only develops our minds, but it gives us endless knowledge and lessons while keeping our minds active. I have an innate passion for sales and marketing. That’s why I make it a point of duty to recharge myself through reading relevant content daily.

Have a mastermind group

If you find it difficult to recharge yourself and come up with new ideas, try joining a mastermind group. The first time I heard about a mastermind was from Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich program. However, it was from being a student of John Maxwell that I learned how to find and also start my mastermind group. 

Mastermind groups offer a combination of brainstorming, education, peer accountability and support in a group setting to sharpen your business and personal skills. A mastermind group helps you and your members achieve success. Participants challenge each other to set powerful goals, and more importantly, to accomplish them.

[Read: 4 Steps to Becoming a Brand in Demand]

Attend industry events

A lot of people think attending industry events is an expense instead of viewing such programs as an investment. When you attend an industry event, it gives you the opportunity to see firsthand how others in your industry are conducting business.

From operations to sales to customer service, you’ll learn a lot from attending these events from time to time. In addition to this, it’s a great way to network and also build partnerships that become profitable.

Hire a Brand Strategist

Sometimes, you need fresh eyes to come up with fresh ideas. Why? This is because we all have blind spots no matter how hard we try.

Hiring a brand strategist will bring a different perspective to your business and can help you get stagnant waters flowing again.

Seun Akinlotan

Do not be afraid of hiring a brand strategist who can see things clearly and give you suggestions that can catapult you from barely surviving to greatly thriving.

As you continue to run your business, always remember that a business that fails to grow will become stunted. And when a business becomes stunted, death is inevitable. Keep your business alive by recharging yourself and constantly coming up with fresh ideas.

Thank you for reading. What other ways can an entrepreneur come up with fresh ideas to grow a profitable brand.

If you truly want to grow your business, you should focus on turning your customers into repeat customers.

Repeat customers are the ones who truly keep you in business because you can always bank on their patronage, referrals and loyalty.

They are also easier to sell to, more inclined to become raving fans and are instrumental in helping you pass your brand’s message to those you may not be able to otherwise reach by yourself. That’s why, as a business owner, it’s important to do all you can to have as many repeat customers as you would love.

When I started my building my brand, I knew that the only way I could grow to the level I dreamed of was directly tied to my ability to retain my customers. I made up my mind to do everything that was within my power to not only meet my customers’ expectations but also to exceed them. With this in mind, I went to work so my dream could come true. Today, over 50% of my customers are repeat customers who keep coming back and also bringing their friends with them.

[Read: How to Start Charging Customers What You Truly Deserve]

 

3 Reasons Why You Don’t Have Repeat Customers

As a brand strategist, I have had the opportunity to work with several entrepreneurs, business owners and startups in the last 5 years. During this time, I have learned many things about how to build successful businesses from working with other businesses. I have also learned among many things that most businesses do not have repeat customers because of 3 reasons. Many times, business owners find it hard to see what they are doing wrong but with my professional help, I point out the reasons out to them. Overall, there are 3 main reasons why you don’t have repeat customers. Let’s explore them below.

 

You overpromise and under-deliver

Each time you make a promise to prospects and customers alike and your delivery falls short of your promise, you are basically saying to the customer that your business is not worthy of doing business with. If you want repeat customers, you must learn to change your promise and more importantly, action.

Do not promise a customer something you know you have no capacity to fulfill. Always be open and transparent in your dealings and watch how customers will respect you for it.

 

You are a generalist instead of a specialist

People mostly come back to businesses that “catch their fancy.” If you want your business to catch the fancy of its customers, then become a specialist instead of being a generalist. Every customer wants to know that they are getting the best each time they patronize your business.

If you offer specialist services for a general skill, then you are sending a message to your customers that you do not deserve their money.

As a business owner, you must constantly update yourself and be sure that you are on top of industry news and trends. If you want to increase your repeat customers, then you need to become a specialist. Commit to knowing as much as you can in your industry so that your brand can become irresistible.

[Read: 3 Reasons Why You Need an Effective Marketing Strategy]

 

Your customer service is nothing to write home about

 If I am asked what alienates customers the most, it’s that many business owners treat their customers as inconsequential. Inconsequential is when you treat the other person as though they have no significant value. If this has been your attitude toward your customers, it’s time to press the “pause” button. Press the “pause” button so you can start treating your customers like the most important people in your life. If you start treating your customers like the most important people in your life, you’ll notice how they will buy, keeping buying and referring customers to you until they get tired.

 

Thank you for reading. What other reasons do you think there are for not getting repeat customers? Share your thoughts in the comment box below and remember to share this post with a friend.

 

If you are working so hard to grow your business and you generate high revenue yet at the end of every month, you can barely make ends meet, it might be time to dive deeper to review your business operations. In reviewing your business operations, the best place to start is to review your overhead costs.

Your overhead costs are costs that are required to keep your business running smoothly and efficiently, but which cannot be directly attributed to any business activity, product or service.

Overhead costs are independent of revenue and must be paid whether the business is in a profit or loss position. They do not include expenses arising from the production of goods or services. For example, if your business is making furniture, the cost of lumber is a raw material and so is not included in overhead.

Overhead costs can include fixed monthly or annual costs (such as leases, insurance, or salaries) or expenses that vary from month to month due to the level of business activity (such as sales promotions or repairs).

[Read: 5 Proven Ways to Boost End of the Year Sales and Finish Strong in 2018]

For example, overhead costs include rent, utilities, administrative, maintenance, sales and marketing, training, record keeping, graphic design etc.

If your overhead costs are not properly planned and put in check, you may be generating high revenue but still running at a deficit. You may also find out that your business is running you as opposed to you running your business. That’s why as an entrepreneur who truly wants to increase your profit margin and build a profitable brand, you must constantly assess your business operations, find ways of reducing your overhead costs and maintain a healthy balance sheet from month-to-month.

 

Reducing Your Overhead Costs

Reducing your overhead costs and increasing your profit margin will not happen by magic – it requires intentionality. It’s not something that you can do overnight and then raise up your hands to say I’m done. Rather, it is an on-going process that has no end. As your business grows, you will continue to find ways to reduce your overhead costs.

Let’s review some areas of your business that might need a critical assessment to see how you can either reduce or totally eliminate the costs associated with your overhead.

Administrative: Administrative costs include employee salaries, communication gadgets, power bills etc. Most of these are recurring costs that can easily run into hundreds if not thousands or even millions of dollars, if not put in check. As a business owner, the onus remains on you to constant review your brand’s administrative costs and find ways to reduce some services. Classify the things you need to administratively run your brand into essential and non-essential. The essentials are the things you cannot do without.

[Read: How to Earn Loyalty From Your Current Customers and Turn them into Raving Fans]

For example, maybe your business can’t do without a notepad, that should be classified as an essential item. However, because you consider such item as essential, is not enough to not find a way to reduce the cost of purchase. You can find out if there are other vendors who are selling cheaper than your current vendor or perhaps maybe there are other brands that are cheaper (yet possess the same quality) than what you currently use. This same process applies to your non-essential items. If you use some items that are important but not expedient, you can go through a screening process for such items. An example of that would be paper cups. As inexpensive as it might appear, buying paper cups when your business is struggling to declare a profit is not a sound decision. Instead of using paper cups, you can bring your cups from home and save money.

[Read: 7 Things That Hinder Success]

Rent: If you currently rent your business space, you might be paying too much. Negotiate with your landlord for a lesser fee or consider some other parts of town where rent might be cheaper. Another point worthy of note is that instead of renting, you can also transition into a co-working space especially if your team is small. Also, you can assess your business and determine if you can run it from home. Running your business from home can help you put some of your profit in your pocket rather than using it as overhead costs.

Sales and Marketing: This is another big one. Sales and marketing are needed to grow a business profitable. However, if these activities are not constantly reviewed for effectiveness, you might find out that the budget for sales and marketing is eating deep into your revenue. The best approach is to find out which of your marketing and sales channels are producing results and which ones are not. For the ones that are not, you need to cut them off to reduce your overhead costs.

[Read: How to Reach Your Target Audience on a Shoestring Marketing Budget]

Accounting/Bookkeeping: Another way you can reduce your overhead costs is by embracing automation for your accounting and bookkeeping. Many automation software packages require some type of upfront investment but once you invest, you will reap the benefits. As always, take your time to research your options as it relates to accounting and bookkeeping and not only will you reduce your overhead costs, you will also increase your productivity.

Utilities: Expenses associated with utilities can sometimes seem inconsequential but if care is not taken, they total to an amount that eats deep into your profit. Examples of expenses associated with utilities include electricity, gas, water, sewer, phone etc. There are some services that can either be reduced or totally eliminated. Your water and electricity and even gas bills can be reduced if you are intentional about reducing usage. If you have employees, impress it upon their hearts of the importance of being conservative as it relates to the use of utilities. Always look for ways to reduce use and costs and watch how your overhead costs will reduce.

[Read: 4 Things Warren Buffet Wants You to Know About Wealth Building]

Other services: Some of these may include business insurance and health insurance. If you’ve not reviewed your insurance plans in a while, it’s time to review your current policy, shop around for quotes from other vendors and start comparing pricing. You may be surprised to find out that you are paying too much money for your business and health insurance. You can either negotiate with your current provider for a price-match or move to another service provider with lower prices and are also dependable.

Maintenance and Repair: Many times, there are things to be maintained or repaired as it relates to your business. For example, you might have a production machine that needs routine maintenance or a heating unit that is broken and needs to be fixed. The vendors you use might be overpricing you and this is directly affecting your overhead costs and ultimately your profits. It is therefore important that you vet your vendors as much as you can and always ask for a second opinion. That you’ve been using a service vendor for a long time does not necessarily mean you are getting the best rate.

[Read: How to Get Started with Content Marketing]

Ultimately, reducing your overhead costs will take time. However, this time when used efficiently will lead to a smoother operation in your business, more profit and more cash flow. Implement these strategies for reducing your overhead costs today and watch your business soar!

Thank you for reading. Enjoying Onpoint Success’s posts? Be generous. Leave a feedback and share with a friend.

 

 

 

Building a profitable brand can be hard especially when you are in a confused state of not knowing how to start charging customers what you truly deserve. This is especially true if you are transitioning from a hobby and giving your skills away for free to becoming a fully-fledged enterprise ready for business.

I once found myself in these shoes when I decided it was time for me to start monetizing my skills as a content creator, business strategist and mentor. It was hard for me to know how to charge customers what I truly deserve. I was caught between charging for-profit and charging such that prospects and customers alike would not be alienated. Does this sound like a familiar territory to you?

You are not alone. Many business owners especially those that are just starting out experience the same. In this article, I will walk you through the steps you need to take to start charging customers what you truly deserve.

Prior to setting your prices, the first thing you should understand is that your business will only remain a business as long as it makes a profit. A lot of entrepreneurs (especially new ones) only focus on sales. You know that moment when you’ve not sold anything in a long time and all of a sudden, someone appears from nowhere to buy something from you. In all your excitement, you sell but at the end of the day, there’s nothing left to show for it. This should not be.

If you continue to focus only on making a sale, it wouldn’t be long enough before your business will die a natural death.

[Read: Starting a New Business? Here are 6 Common Mistakes You Should Avoid]

Now, let’s discuss what you need to do to start charging what you truly deserve.

The first step is to present yourself as a business.

Many prospects and customers alike will not be inclined to pay you what you truly deserve if your business does not look the part. This is one of the areas where many entrepreneurs fail to take seriously. Once you step out there to start your business, it is no longer a casual thing. Your business as an entity must reflect your worth and people must be able to perceive your worth from a distance. In other words, how do people perceive your brand based on how you present it to them? Is your business registered? Do you have a payment system with an official business name? Do you have social media accounts for your business? Are you consistent with your colors, presentation and style? These are many more go a long way in determining whether you can truly charge customers what you truly deserve.

[Read: How to Start and Launch an Online Business]

The next step you must take is giving your target audience the opportunity to experience you in action. It’s intriguing to find out that many entrepreneurs especially service-based ones think of getting without giving. Giving transcends money and in this context, giving simply means an experience, value or concept you can give to your target audience so they know how awesome you are.

Another thing you must do so you can truly charge what you deserve is to invest in yourself.

A lot of entrepreneurs go into business with the mindset of “I know it all” but this usually backfires because no one knows it all. Investing in yourself is an eye-opener and confidence booster because you begin to see possibilities rather than limitations.

Also, when you invest in yourself, not only will you start experiencing a mindset shift, even the way you run your business will change.

Investing in yourself will always yield multiple returns such that you cannot place a price tag on it.

For example, it will give you the opportunity to learn from others who have gone ahead of you – learn from their own mistakes, leverage on their connections and build the confidence you need to start charging what you truly deserve. Whatever industry you are, when you invest in yourself, you get the opportunity to interact with those that have gone ahead of you, those with whom you are on the same track and those who are coming behind you.

[Read: How to Get More Referrals for Your Small Business]

Once you follow the steps, the next thing to do is to start charging. Is it that simple? Yes, it is very simple and you can only find out after you start it. The next time someone approaches you for your service, charge them for it. Whenever anyone request for your price list, send it to that person without blinking.  Yes, it may feel awkward at first or your heart may start pounding fast but the truth is if you do not ask, the answer will always be NO. If you work so hard, you deserve to be paid. If you pay for the services others render to you, you also deserve to be duly paid for your own service. Start charging what you truly deserve, today!

Thank you for reading. What point struck you the most? Are you having difficulty charging what you truly deserve? How did you start charging what you truly deserve? Please leave a comment and remember to share this post with a friend

As a small business owner, many times you might be tempted to look outward instead of inward when things are not going in the direction you had anticipated. However, when things are taking the downward spiral turn or if your business is not growing well, the best place to start is to look inward and you might find surprising ways you might be killing your small business.

In this post, I’ve identified 10 surprising ways you might be killing your small business.

1. Going with every wind of change

As an entrepreneur, you are burdened with the task of making decisions that could directly or indirectly affect the growth of your business. One of such choices might be deciding which new technology to embrace or which social media platform to become active on. Whatever choices present themselves to you, try and ensure that you don’t change what is already working.

Change is a constant, however, going with every wind of change is a surprising way you might be killing your small business.

Don’t try to be the first one purchasing a new technology neither should you position yourself in such a way that you are the last person to get on board. Always update your knowledge and be patient when making decisions that affect your business growth.

[Read: Starting a New Business? Here are 6 Common Mistakes to Avoid]

2. Ineffective pricing

As a small business owner, the sole purpose of a business is to make PROFITS. If you don’t make profits, then you are not running a business; it’s a hobby.  In order to make profits, you have to price your products/services competitively.

When determining your PRICE, don’t just look at the cost price of your product and add a comfortable percentage.

Rather, consider the cost price plus your overhead costs. Your overhead cost includes but not limited to transportation, communication (phone bills), meals, electricity bills etc. If you keep pricing your products based on cost price only, you are killing your small business in a way that it might be too late before you realize it.

[Read: 4 Things Warren Buffet Wants You to Know About Wealth Building]

3. Lack of social media presence

If you think you are too busy to maintain an active social media presence for your business, you might find yourself in hot soup sooner or later.  Think about it; if your customers spend most of their time on social media, you might as well socialize with them there.

Socializing with your customers and interacting with them gives you an opportunity to get to know them up close. When they know you better, they become your mouthpiece and introduce you to their friends.

4. Selling on Credit

If you want to fast track your business death, sell on credit!  Selling on credit is bad for business and as a small business owner, you should not lay this foundation for your business. If you have been selling on credit, seek counsel on how to stop unless you are ready to shut down.

5. Not following up with your loyal customers

Let’s face it, your loyal customers are the one responsible for 80% of your business profits, why take them for granted?

If you don’t follow up with your best customers or you don’t touch bases with them routinely, they might start to lose interest in patronizing you.

Remember, your competitors are out there trying to woo your loyal customers to their side. Whenever possible, try looking for ways to keep them loyal. Give them a surprise offer or reward, they will appreciate you for it.

6. Lack of integrity

If you lack integrity in the way you conduct your business,  it will die a sudden death. You might get away with your lack of integrity at first but when it boomerangs, it’s usually fatal and irreversible. Rather than making empty promises, it is best if you are plain about your strengths and weaknesses up front.

[Read: How to Charge Customers What You Truly Deserve]

7. Poor customer service

Attitude is everything!  If you don’t treat your customers well, you are killing your business gradually.  People want to know that you appreciate them for choosing you over your competitors. One of the best ways you can show your appreciation is by offering a good customer service to them.

No matter the quality of your products or services, if you do not provide excellent customers service, you are gradually hurting and killing your business without you even knowing it.

8. Failure to keep proper records

One of the mistakes I also made earlier on was a failure to proper records. The importance of keeping proper records cannot be over-emphasized.

Keeping proper records ensures that you accumulate sufficient data over time and helps you to identify what part of your business that needs improvement.  I

t also ensures that when you need the records, you can easily locate them. If you don’t keep proper records in your business, you are gradually killing your business.

9.  Not conducting market research

Routine market research is a must for every serious business owner. The needs of your client base change over time so you need to identify their exact needs and ensure that you are meeting those needs in a way that is mutually beneficial.

[Read: 6 Practical Ways to Inspire Creativity]

10.  No marketing

As a small business owner, you should be involved in actively marketing your business to prospects and current customers. If not, you are like a boy winking at a girl in the dark. He’s the only one who knows what he’s doing while others don’t. If others don’t notice your business due to a lack of marketing, it will die a natural death.

Thank you for reading! Enjoying Onpoint Success’s posts. Leave a feedback and remember to share with a friend.

As a business owner or a career professional, one of the keys to growing a profitable brand or building a successful career is in your network. This is because the more quality people you know, the more you increase your chances of having access to life-changing opportunities that can catapult you from obscurity into the limelight. And in order to increase the quality of people in your network, you much learn the art of networking. Learning the art of networking, however, comes with constant practice as with everything in life. My first networking event was what I’ll term nerve-wrecking because I found myself in a room of 200+ business professionals. I found it highly uncomfortable to introduce myself to others and at the end of the day, I left without seizing the golden opportunity that was presented to me. Today, my story is different. I attend networking events well prepared to network with others and get the most out of it and here are seven (7) tips for getting the most out of your next networking event:

  1. Find out what type of guests the event will attract: Successful networking is not just about attending any type of networking event, it’s about attending events that will be relevant to your growth. Prior to accepting an invitation to attend a networking event, you must conduct your due diligence and find out what type of guests the events will attract. The type of
  2. Plan your outfit ahead of time: Now that you know the type of guests that will attend the networking event, you should begin to plan your outfit way ahead of time. You must find out from event organizers what the appropriate type of dressing is. You should not be overdressed or underdressed. If possible, take time to visit the organizer’s social media accounts or website to see if they’ve planned similar events and observe the mode of dressing for past events. Do not wait until the last minute so you won’t be flustered and disoriented
  3. Know your route and plan your mode of transportation: Unless you already know how to find your way to the venue of the networking event, you should plan your mode of transportation ahead of time
  4. Practice your elevator pitch: Networking events can be uncomfortable especially when you have to walk up to a stranger to introduce yourself. One way to reduce anxiety and make this more bearable is by exuding confidence that comes with practicing your elevator pitch way ahead of time. When you learn how to introduce yourself properly and with confidence, it creates a memorable experience for those who interact with you. This will, in turn, encourage them to follow up with you.
  5. Take plenty of business cards: There’s nothing that screams not being serious more than attending a networking event with a business card. It’s like a farmer who shows up to the farm without his tools. How will he or she get the work done? Your business card is a small but powerful tool that sends a message to anyone you hand it to that you mean business. Always have an abundant supply of business cards and do not wait until you have an event before you start scrambling around
  6. Introduce yourself to others: On the day of the event, you must not only sit and chat with those you know, but you must also move around and interact with others you don’t know. Interacting with people you don’t already know is an opportunity to build your network. Avoid talking too much about yourself. Instead, ask questions and listen to others while they talk about themselves. Be sure to collect their business cards as well.
  7. Follow up: Collecting business cards is useless if you don’t follow up. There’s an old saying that states that “the money is in the follow up” You must get tired of following up because that’s where the money is. If you don’t follow up with someone whose business card you collected then it’s as good as not collecting the money at all.

In all, always remember that networking is a rewarding exercise and it’s not just about how networking events you attend, it’s about the quality of people you network with and your ability to make the best use of every opportunity.

Thank you so much for reading! What additional networking tips would you like to share? Please leave a comment. Also, if you found this piece valuable, kindly share with others.

 

I am passionate about helping entrepreneurs build profitable brands online and can go long stretches of hours teaching, sharing and helping entrepreneurs build the type of brands others will truly be proud of. As much as I love doing this and devoting my time, it wouldn’t make so much sense if I wasn’t monetizing my skills in one way or the other. That’s what seals the fulfillment that comes with helping others doing what you love while also getting paid.

Most people want to monetize their skills but have failed to do so because they do not know how to go about it. Monetizing your skills is not rocket science and even though it may seem daunting at first, the most important thing is to start. Once you start everything else begins to fall in place. Below are 7 ways you can monetize your skills without breaking the bank.

1. Create and sell online courses: If you have a skill and you know that others will greatly benefit, it’s time for you to start thinking about how to create and sell online courses. Some people have said, they don’t have a platform and here’s me saying you do not need a platform to start selling online courses. It does not matter the type of skill you have – makeup, writing, event planning, relationship counseling, life coaching, catering, graphic designing etc., you can create your course and start selling on Amazon in a day.

[Related: How to Start and Launch an Online Business]

2. Become a freelancer: The internet is the saving grace of the 21st-century entrepreneur and with third-party sites like Fiverr.com, Upwork.com, Hiremymom.com, you can start monetizing your skills at the click of a button without the stress of setting up your own business. You can decide when and where you want to work and decide how much you want to make.  These are great options for you to monetize your skills while also having the freedom to choose when and where you want to work.

3. Start a blog (and register with companies as an affiliate): Have you ever wondered how Bloggers make money? Wonder no more! Bloggers make money from multiple sources but the easiest way they monetize is through to affiliate marketing. For this to work, your blog must be self-hosted focused on a niche or target audience and must have great content that keeps your readers coming back. I started my brand through blogging and I cannot begin to describe the amazing opportunities blogging has brought my way. If you’ll like to start blogging, Bluehost is the hosting platform I recommend because of its one-click WordPress set-up. Other than opportunities that blogging will bring your way, if set up right, your blog can pay for itself and even pay your bills when you monetize it by registering as an affiliate with brands that are related to your subject matter.

[Related: How to Start a Self-hosted WordPress Blog]

4. Start a membership site: This is a fast-growing concept whereby you build a membership site where you can teach your skills to members of the site in exchange for being paid. You do not need a website to start a membership site. You can start using Facebook Groups and transition into a website as you grow.

5. Write a book: This is one of the greatest ways you can impact others while also making a living out of it. Writing a book is not as complicated as it sounds, however, I’ll say it involves a lot of work and dedication to be able to pull this through. Also, before you write your book, it’s always better if you have a thriving social media platform or network where you are already adding value.

[Related: 10 Things You Can Do to Drive Traffic to your Website]

6. Start a coaching business: This is one of the ways I currently monetize my own skills and nothing stops you from doing that as well. To become a coach, you need a deep understanding of your subject matter gained by experience or education or a combination of both and the ability to help your clients get the results they truly desire.

7. Vlogging: There are many people who have built profitable brands by vlogging and in case you do not know, vlogging is sharing your knowledge or teaching others through videos. The most popular channel to vlog is Youtube and you can earn money based on views. Of course, the more valuable the content you share with your audience, the more followers, and views you’ll get. It’s the content that keeps people attracted to your brand and it makes them keep coming back.

As you can see, none of these 7 ways of monetizing your skill involves rocket science. All you need to do is to start where you are doing what you love and work your way up the ladder. Remember, the goal is not to implement all these ideas at once but take one idea, implement it successfully and then move on to the next. If you are diligent, you’ll become financially-independent faster than you ever dreamed or imagined.

Thanks for reading! Do you currently monetize your skills? Which of the seven ways appeal to you the most? Please leave a comment below and remember to share this post with a friend.

 

For the past 4 years, I have been privileged to work with different types of entrepreneurs in building their brands profitably and I am always amazed when people tell me how much they desire to have new customers. When people ask me how important it is to focus on customer-retention strategies, I respond by saying it is very important. A bird (customer) in hand is worth two (prospects) in the marketplace and that’s why it’s important that in as much as you are looking to attract new customers, you put in effort into retaining your current and old customers.

Retaining customers is one of the indices of a brand in good standing and I wrote a chapter about customer-retention strategies in my revolutionary book, UNEQUALED. If you are yet to get your copy, get it here now.

Okay, let me share some proven strategies for customer-retention in 5 easy steps.

1. Add a personal touch: Everyone including you loves to feel special and because of this, I intentionally created an atmosphere of “personal touch” in my brand. My team and I work hard to create a personal experience that is hard to get elsewhere for each customer.  When our customers come, they are enthralled by how much personal touch we add to the entire experience and this makes them stick with us. You should do that too. Come up with ways in which you can treat your customers first as a human before you treat them like a business treats its customers.

2. Educate the DIYs: The DIYs are the Do-It-Yourself people. These are people that might not buy from you often but when they are ready to buy, the only brand they will think of is your brand. That’s why it’s important to incorporate some form of a learning experience in the way you do business. Teaching and empowering others about certain parts of your business is not only an excellent customer-retention strategy but also a powerful customer-attraction strategy. The people you teach and empower are more prone to helping you share your brand message to other people in their life who meet the definition of your target audience. If you want to retain your customers, you must do more than sell, you must also educate.

3. Conduct a research: Many times when people hear the word “research,” they feel intimidated. However, I’m telling you, there is nothing to be scared about. Research is just a fancy term for gathering pertinent information. When you ask your customers certain questions, it gives you insight into what you are doing well, what you need to develop and sometimes, what you need to introduce. Conducting a research helps you take the guesswork out of building a profitable brand. Depending on how you word the questions in your research questionnaire, the answers might be exactly all you need to move from barely surviving to greatly thriving. 

4. Create a clear difference: In order to retain your customers, there must be a clear difference between what your brand offers and what your competitors offer. You cannot afford to blend in, you must stand out if you truly want to retain your customers. One of the ways we create a clear difference between Onpoint Success and other competing brands out there is authenticity. We are authentic in the way we deal with our customers and we bring an unparalleled level of expertise to the table. What about you? Why should a customer stick with you and not your competitor? What is the “clear difference” that sets your brand apart? 

5. Testimonials: These are powerful tools that help build social proof and ultimately helps you to retain your customers. If your current customers are not inclined to blowing your trumpet, it simply means they are “managing” and once they have an alternative, off they go. Per my experience, if you treat your customers right, go above and beyond the call of duty and keep to your word, they will gladly give you unsolicited testimonials. 

Thank you so much for reading! What other ways do you think you a small business owner can retain more customers? Please leave a comment. Also, if you found this piece valuable, kindly share with others.