SharpSpring Consultant Reveals Powerful Process for Making Your Marketing Work

As a SharpSpring consultant, I get to see a ton of marketing and sales campaigns come together, or not. The goal of this article and video is to help business owners and leaders understand why strategic planning and creative content are so important when it comes to making your marketing and automation work without losing your mind or your shirt.

If you own and operate a SharpSpring account to manage your marketing and sales, this article is for you. Even if you don't use SharpSpring because you're committed to another marketing automation platform, this articles is for you because what you're about to learn is a proven process for powering any marketing automation engine or campaign.

In case you want to read about this and not watch my video, here's the bottom line ...

You have to have sound business fundamentals such as an effective strategic plan of action and the right people on your team to execute marketing and sales success. This is your foundation, and we can easily agree all big companies and organizations depend on a strategic plan of action to align the team.

Given a sound plan and team, you then have your marketing and sales campaigns. Generally, these revolve around your website and whatever "real world" presence you see fit to integrate into your plan. For example, many of my clients attend trade shows. The question for them becomes how we make sure their marketing platform, SharpSpring, helps them make the most of their investment in every trade show they attend.

SharpSpring will serve as your "ultimate" marketing assistant and platform. It will tend to the needs of virtually any sales organization, and can always integrate with Salesforce and other CRM systems. But my approach with the marketing technology, much like the strategic plan of action is FOCUS.

The main point for you is if you own a business, you invest every day in marketing, sales, technology, and people to make it all work for you. When you embrace a solid plan of action, then your success is all about content.

The more creative, engaging and compelling your marketing and sales messaging is, your content, the easier it will be for you to attract, engage, and convert more prospects into happy, paying customers.

We can all agree that we depend on the internet and technology to compete for our fair share of customers in any business or market. With or without marketing technologies like SharpSpring, the business of life might be simpler. This does not imply your life would be easier until you learn to master the art of strategic planning aligned with creative content, committed people and a purpose-powered business culture.

I always appreciate constructive comments and questions here on my blog. If you need help with strategy, sales and marketing performance, action planning, training, and creative content, connect with me here for a free ROI strategy session.

To your success, Cliff

P.S. If you are interested in learning how SharpSpring can make a difference for you and your business, let's go through a Marketing Automation Vendor Comparison that will show you the best value for you, not me. Ask me about special savings and programs for making SharpSpring work for you.

What Can Kartra and SharpSpring Do for Your Business When It Comes to Managing Relationships, Content and Marketing Automation?

Want to get a glimpse of a typical day for me when I'm in "campaign building" and creative technology mode? What would a customized, online training and group coaching program do for your sales and customer service teams? Want more clarity, confidence and results from your sales, marketing and tech investments? Let's connect.

Losing Your Mind, Or Shirt, On Marketing That Doesn't Work?


This is a story about a very bright woman, a CPA, with two Masters degrees, one in tax, the other finance. Let's call her D.

I read a post of hers on Facebook a couple of days ago. I sent her a message and offered to listen. What I heard was typical ...

She has lost her shirt, and faith, not her mind, by hiring a new marketing guy, buying Facebook ads, and promoting a lead generation campaign to grow her tax consulting business.

D and I talked almost right away when she called me. Guess what?

None of the new marketing worked, and D lost thousands of her hard-earned dollars, and several months of her time.

Was it the marketing guy's fault if he didn't know what he didn't know? (Strategy for getting customers vs. his one way of generating leads)

Check out the video to hear the whole story, and how simple it will be for D to get new customers.

Marketing can be maddening, but it doesn't have to be when you have the right strategy and plan of action to get the customers you need and want.

Connect with me on social media or send me an email if I can help.

Grow your business. Live your dreams!

This Is How Presidents Obama and Trump Won Elections


Want to know how presidents Barack Obama and Donald J. Trump won their elections? It's simple; digital marketing leadership and transformation that dominated their markets, and achieved the marketing goal - become president of the United States of America.

This article is about how Brad Parscale helped Donald J. Trump win the last presidential election. When it comes to winning a presidential election, the stakes are enormous, and the money invested, incomprehensible. But the fundamentals for driving digital marketing leadership and transformation are the same for every business as it is for politicians, non profits, or any other organization that must compete for attention, engagement, conversions and a win.

What I'm about to reveal deals mostly with the recent Trump announcement about his 2020 intention to run for office again. However, it is fair to say that everything you're about to see is very similar in approach and discipline for the Obama election. You can read more about this The Atlantic article, see why president Obama was viewed as the first president to embrace social media, and use it effectively to win his election.

What triggered my desire to write this article and record the video is a Wired Magazine article written by Issie Lapowski. In case you don't have time or interest to click through and read the article, or watch my video, here are the highlights ...

What can we all learn from this, especially if we own or lead a business?

The only way to build a company effectively, and to win the biggest of elections, is to embrace a digital media transformation from the top down. There are no shortcuts when it comes to making digital marketing work well. We all know how challenging digital marketing can be, especially for emerging companies and professionals who struggle to be effective with digital.

Digital transformation begins with digital leadership. Who's driving your digital marketing bus, and how's that working? If you don't have the right digital marketing leadership in place, maybe it's time to do something about this.

Here's the bottom line, especially for small business America - Invest in disciplined technology and data-driven approach to transforming your digital marketing. This begins with leadership.

Imagine what your organization would look like five years from now if you did what the big dogs do? And if you believe it costs too much to hire a qualified digital marketing leader, how much do you think it's costing you not to have the best digital marketing leadership your money can buy, even if you're never want to be a president.

Got a question or comment about small business success, sales, digital marketing or my opinions in this article? I always appreciate it when you post your comments and questions here on the blog.

To your success.

SharpSpring Saves You Time and Money With New Content Calendar Manager


This post walks you through how SharpSpring saves you time and money with the new content calendar manager. The short video is the best way to see exactly how I test drive the new SharpSpring tool for better managing social media marketing.

Who is SharpSpring? Glad you asked.

SharpSpring is one of the leading marketing automation solutions on the planet. But you may not have heard of them because they don't spend money advertising directly to business owners, sales and marketing leaders. Instead, they choose to target and market value added consultants like me, and mostly, amazing agencies who see the power of putting SharpSpring in place as the content marketing and customer relationship management solution in one.

My short video walks you through SharpSpring's newest feature called the social media content calendar. I call it a manager because that's what it does. It makes managing your social media posts to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter easier because you can do all the work in one place and schedule for posting now, or in the future.

Block Time, Schedule Social Media Posts

One of the best ways to get even more from a social media management tool as powerful as this is to block time every week, month or quarter to plan, choose, set up and schedule all your social media posts in advance, IF that makes sense for your business model and marketing plan.

If not, there are many other ways to make social media a more effective tool for top of funnel marketing awareness and lead generation. But the key is knowing who will do this hard and very important creative work, and make sure it gets done on a regular basis. Consistency is one of the keys to being effective with social media marketing. Don't cut corners because every word, every image, every link makes a difference.

The bottom line is social media, when done consistently well over long periods of time, can be a powerful way to boost traffic, attract and engage more of your ideal customers.

How do you manage your social media now, and what would you change, if anything?

I always appreciate your comments and questions here on my small business success blog.

If you'd like to learn more about SharpSpring, or how I and my small team of writers and marketing geeks can help you with content, strategy and creative marketing insights, connect with me here.

To your success!

How To Go-To-Market With Confidence


When it comes to getting enough new customers to fuel your pipeline and cash flow, what does it take to go to market with confidence?

If life is a game of confidence, then building and succeeding in the small business world could be the Olympics. It's not easy to start, fund and build and successful business. It takes capital, hard work, sales, marketing and more.

Follow these steps and never stop learning how to optimize the ROI on your sales and marketing investments. After all, investing in the growth of your small business could be the best investment of all. But you need to make sure you have the best people, products and process to go-to-market consistently with confidence.

  1. Create a written plan of action for success.
  2. Focus on one business goal at a time.
  3. Be clear on your vision.
  4. Be clear on your purpose.
  5. Know your strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats.
  6. Define your ideal customer.
  7. Know your customer's pain.
  8. Solve your customer's pain.
  9. Commit to your values for excellence.
  10. Build a bold brand identity.
  11. Craft a compelling story.
  12. Invest in marketing that works.
  13. Sell and enroll new customers.
  14. Deliver the promise - fulfill.
  15. Celebrate the lessons learned.
  16. Measure, review results, learn, adapt.
  17. Build a business financial fortress.
  18. Build a personal financial fortress.
  19. Celebrate a life of wealth and significance.

If any of these go-to-market plan elements look familiar to you from past business and marketing plans, that's okay. The key is to make your business plan, especially if it's for internal use only, and not for raising new capital, then make it a living, breathing document that you and your people can easily manage and update for each, new stage of growth.

The truth is lots of people set goals to own a business, grow a business, etc. But most small business owners get too stuck working "in" their business, not "on" it. This is one reason millions of small businesses remain small - not enough time to work on refining strategy, plan, tactics, results tracking or the other essential elements for sales, marketing and small business success.

Got a question or comment about how to go-to-market with more confidence?

I always appreciate your comments and questions posted here on the blog, or contact me through the website, email or social media.