Can I share something that I haven’t discussed publicly before? I am seriously concerned about the number of people who would have you believe that email marketing is the holy grail of business success. It’s not. And it’s time to stop the email marketing madness!
You can’t log online nowadays without being nearly assaulted with ad after ad of “coaches” and “consultants” telling you how to get your first 1,000 email subscribers. Now it’s so easy to get online and sell stuff, everyone is online and selling stuff. Create a ‘compelling lead magnet.’ Spend a few quid on Facebook ads, despite their low conversion rate, and you’re on your way to online success.
Just because something is a trend doesn’t mean it’s effective or you should do it.
Oh my! How time flies. I’ve just emailed my business coaching clients a set of questions to help them reflect on their Q2 results, and plan for Q3 and Q4. It doesn’t seem that long ago since I was emailing them about their Q1 results.
How was your Q2? Did it bring you the business results you were hoping for?
Here are a few of my June highlights and insights.
Six years to this day, I left my job after 8 years as a CEO and 25 years in senior managerial and leadership roles. I hopped on a plane bound for Barcelona, my spiritual home, and the start of a year-long sabbatical. I’ve never looked back.
But as I’ve been working on the origins of my own brand story, I’ve found myself thinking more and more about those 8 years in the trenches as a CEO. The successes. The mistakes I made. And the lessons I learnt along the way.
Do Good. Make Money. Change the World. These words, and the ethos behind them, stem from my belief that business can be a powerful force for positive social good [and still be a business].
Where did it start?
In 1984, I watched Michael Buerk’s report from Ethiopia, on what he labelled a “biblical famine”. The images of Mohammed Amin, together with Buerk’s powerful words, produced one of the most famous television reports of the late 20th Century.
The images from the report shocked me profoundly. I was at university at the time, and wrote regularly to a friend who was teaching for VSO in a small village four hours’ outside Nairobi, Kenya. Despite our regular discussions about her job, the conditions, aid and international development, nothing had prepared me for the visuals Buerk’s report provided.
“A change is as good as a rest,” goes the old saying. In last month’s business review, I wrote about how I feel like I have so much more time and space since ditching life in the capital for the Sussex South coast. The reality is I don’t actually have any more time now than I did in London. But I feel like I do. More times for walks on the beach. More time to catch up with friends. More time to pursue hobbies like singing in a choir and learning Italian. And more time for working on an operational plan for my own business strategy.
When I’m working with clients, there’s nothing I enjoy more than delving into their business strategy. But with a busy business consulting practice, I don’t always have the time I’d like to devote to the implementation of my own business strategy. Making progress on my own re-brand is my highest Q2 priority, and I’ve had great fun working with my graphic designer on this.
This week, I’ve been taking a Marketing Certification course with CoSchedule, whose software I use to manage my content marketing strategy. Following a discussion around marketing goals, I decided to set a BHAG (big hairy audacious goal). To 10X my website traffic by the end of the year. Would you like to join me in this challenge and 10X your website traffic too?
Big, hairy audacious goals worth achieving are typically difficult to attain. But if I want to catapult my business to the next level, I’m going to have to put my shoulder to the wheel, and give every ounce of effort I can to achieving this goal.
I want to ensure my website does the very best possible job of answering your needs and interests. This means I need to know more about you. To do that, I’ve created my first ever reader survey.
Would you please take a couple of minutes to fill out this short survey?
By doing so, you will also be helping yourself. Why? Because you will be helping me to create content that is more relevant to your needs. I’ll be using your feedback to construct my content calendar for the rest of the year.
From rural villages to the national parliament where women hold two-thirds of the seats, women, like my namesake Denise are leading the rebuilding of Rwanda. The challenge of creating a lasting peace following the devastating 1994 Genocide depends greatly on the actions of women who made up the majority of survivors. It’s the story of women like Denise that inspired me to support Women For Women International.
Before she became a participant on the Women for Women International – Rwanda programme, Denise’s life was blighted by conflict. She and her family lived in poverty. But thanks to the WFWI programme, she has hope for the future and a belief that she too will empower other women to follow in her footsteps.
Last month I moved out of London down to the West Sussex coast. This was a HUGE decision for me as it meant stepping off the London property market, leaving my established network behind and in many ways starting with a blank canvas. It wasn’t just a physical move. But an opportunity to rethink how I balance my ambitions for my business with living with more grace, elegance and joie de vivre.
These are four key lessons I’ve learnt from this move.
How quickly is this year flying by?! We’re at the end of Q1 already and I’m in the middle of completing my own quarterly business review. A little later than usual because I took the last week of March off to get organised after moving house.
Quarterly business reviews are one of my favourite activities as they’re an opportunity to go back to my business plan, and focus in detail on one particular aspect of it. Business plans are not static documents, contrary to common belief. They should be a living document that changes and improves as we evolve our business.
Excellent firms don’t believe in excellence – only in constant improvement and constant change.” – Tom Peters