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With the economic downturn, it's more important than ever for entrepreneurs to ensure the marketing support they need to keep their small businesses viable. Jennifer Kem, CEO of the Master Brand Institute, knows from experience how painful it is to lose everything when she was forced to close her brick-and-mortar retail business due to the drastic shift in the 2008-2009 financial crisis. Within a year she was bankrupt, borrowing money from her mother, and knocking on literal and proverbial doors to see where she would find the next best opportunity to finance herself and her two daughters.
Today she is the CEO of two future-proof eight figure companies, both focused on brand strategy and marketing consulting for businesses and small businesses. As she watches the economy struggle and small business executives capitalize on the potential for lost profits, Jen is passionate about offering both her story and the tools necessary to help her return from bankruptcy to a blockbuster business executive, so they can do the same.
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This is the Success Map, a four-part marketing strategy that Jen developed to help business leaders generate higher income and impact through mindset, messaging, marketing and monetization, regardless of the economic climate.
Step 1: mindset
The first step on the Success Card is to master your mindset as a business leader. In challenging times, you always have a choice: you can surrender to the fight or view it as an opportunity to lead. So many big brands we encounter every day were born in recessions or became successful. Microsoft was founded during the 1973 oil embargo recession. The marketing platform Mailchimp was founded during the dot-com recession in 2001. During the great recession of 2008, several startups such as Uber and the popular vacation rental marketplace Airbnb were founded. If you can, so can you and this is how it works: You commit to a value-centered framework.
A myth is currently circulating on the internet that the best way to know the direction in which business is going is to follow what feels best. But let's face it, so much of the day-to-day work of running a business doesn't seem like the most exciting part, but it is the necessary things. The key is to understand that if you want to make an effort, it's not about being "easy" or "difficult". Instead, it's about being worth it. Jen calls what makes the work worth it "value-oriented". It's a framework she uses to filter all of her business decisions based on her values. Jen's primary values are autonomy, justice, generosity, leadership and legacy. As she determines how her business will grow, she makes sure that every decision is made in line with one of these five key values.
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Your core values are a commitment that will enable you to stay motivated regardless of the economic climate. Even if your ROI slows down, focus on your ROI because if the economy improves, as always because it is cyclical, your audience will remember you as someone who stood by your values and they will consistently throughout the challenge supported. As you invest in your mindset, you will move from sitting on the sidelines to being an active, energetic entrepreneur who shares, cares, and dares in a whole new way.
Step 2: messaging
The second step to the success card is sending messages. When times are tough, your audience needs support. So make sure you come up with creative messages that portray your brand as value-driven and community-conscious. During a number of economic downturns throughout history, we have repeatedly seen the success of businesses that cater to the needs of the community.
Here are some content ideas to get you started: First, think of seven stories that highlight your rapprochement. What have you personally been through that helps you relate to and empathize with your audience? Then think of seven authority stories that emphasize your expertise in dealing with similar challenges or offer a solution-oriented approach. What have you achieved, learned or achieved in both your personal and professional experiences that show your audience that they can rely on you as a source of support and invest in your offerings to meet their needs?
Being able to consistently create empathetic and effective news will make you feel more confident in your marketing and your audience will better understand why they need you.
Step 3: Marketing
The third step to the success card is marketing. Believe it or not, in a bad economy or a good economy, marketing is always important. During the pandemic, all companies were urged to start or build their business in digital space. Even if you are in brick and mortar retail like 2008, you can sell online and / or market the expertise of your experience through courses, workbooks, virtual events, etc. (As we can all report, she certainly wishes she knew what she knew now, then!)
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Think about how you can convert your knowledge into online income. Then market your new offer. Marketing is simply letting people who need you know that you can help them. Don't limit your creative process to just one idea, think of a few offers and test them out in your audience. Then scale the offer with the highest earning potential. Use pre-built marketing systems on social media platforms to get the word out about what you know and how to serve your audience.
Step 4: monetization
The final step to the success card is monetization. Now that your mindset, messaging, and marketing are in alignment, you can focus on maximizing income by improving your sales pitches and closing prices. Monetization simply invites the people who already like and trust you to play a bigger game in their life and uses your expertise and experience to guide them. As you prepare your monetization strategies, consider how you can serve your audience in both the online and offline markets, as both industries can add to your sales goal.
If you are a business leader who wants to make sure your income is predictable and your impact is felt while your audience's needs are met, you should ensure a value-based mindset, supportive messaging, consistent marketing, and clear online and offline monetization strategies. Then focus and protect your self-confidence through self-care practices and support from mentors, friends, and family. These framework conditions were so effective for securing the future of Jens company and can also support you regardless of the economic situation or the world.